The Guild and Dunbar Families of High Peak Station


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2024 Canterbury Finalists: The Guild and Dunbar Families of High Peak Station – Deer, Sheep, Beef, Tourism & Honey

High Peak Station has traditional farm roots, however it has diversified in recent years to include a wide range of income streams enhanced with added value. 
This 3,760ha (3,450ha effective) property is managed by an eight-way partnership that runs four different businesses. The partnership is comprised of the Guilds James, Anna, Hamish, Gemma, Simon and Kate – alongside Amelia and Tom Dunbar. 
There’s a strong focus on adding value to all the enterprises, with the team striving toward high-end products and experiences. Almost half of High Peak Station’s income is derived from tourism, with the remainder split between sheep, cattle, deer and honey. 
James and Anna have been at the property since 1973. Their children Simon, Hamish and Amelia became actively involved in the business 30 years later. Today, the four separate entities all share synergies – enhancing the overall success of the business.  
Each family member brings different strengths to the table. The judges were particularly impressed with James’s forward-looking approach to regulation, and Hamish’s vast knowledge of the property’s soil, topography and how winter grazing is managed. 
Protecting and enhancing the environment is another priority. Natural wetlands, QEII National Trust covenant areas, and riparian corridors are all well protected – creating an environment that is rich with biodiversity. Innovative approaches are often used, for example, a natural water harvesting technique is used at the head of the Selwyn River for irrigation.  
Careful business planning is ensuring that the four businesses at High Peak Station are operating in a sustainable and complementary way. Continuing to add value to each of the diverse income streams is no doubt setting the scene for this family business to remain viable into the future. 

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