RNZ: Country Life-logo

RNZ: Country Life

RNZ New Zealand

Country Life takes you down country roads to meet ordinary people achieving their dreams. We live in a beautiful country...

Country Life takes you down country roads to meet ordinary people achieving their dreams. We live in a beautiful country...


Wellington, New Zealand


Country Life takes you down country roads to meet ordinary people achieving their dreams. We live in a beautiful country...




PO Box 489, Hamilton 07 8580729


Laura's Dairy grows into Beck's Beef

Charteris Bay farmer Laura Beck hung up the milking cups in the dairy shed in 2018 and now she is raising cattle on 22 hectares of farmland she leases from the Orton Bradley Park Trust on Banks Peninsula.


Urbanites upskill for career in dairy

With the large number of people losing their jobs because of Covid-19, Dairy NZ has launched a publicity campaign to encourage people to consider changing careers and get into dairy farming. On June 8 it is running a "farm-ready" entry level training course which is free for those serious about working on dairy farms.


Chook farmer egged on by rising demand

Agricultural engineer Troy Prendergast has custom-built a free range poultry farm on 11 hectares of land near Te Waihora Lake Ellesmere in Canterbury. "It was something we could do at a large scale without a huge amount of land" he says.


The 90's File - Riley Kennedy

Our guest on the 90s file this week is keen to tell stories about farming and its people, despite ructions to the media landscape.


On the farm: What is happening around rural New Zealand this week

Farmers in the far north have had to get their wet weather gear out this week and pruning has started on orchards and vineyards.


Country Life for Friday 29 May 2020

Country Life this week talks to workers who've switched to dairying from quite different careers and love the farming life. In The 90s File we speak to Riley Kennedy who is keen to tell stories about farming and its people. We also visit a free range chook farm in Leeston and Laura Beck tells us why she prefers homekill on the farm to sending her cattle to an abattoir.


Feilding comes alive

Feilding lost its usual Friday bustle during the Covid-19 lockdown with the historic stockyards closed and the farmers' market shuttered. But it came to life again last week when the lockdown lifted. Country Life went along to see how producers, growers, farmers and stock agents have been faring.


Lobster industry claws its way back

New Zealand's live lobster industry is worth about $320 million annually, much of it sold to China. However, back on January 24 exports came to a halt when China shut down its Chinese New Year celebrations and closed restaurants as the coronavirus spread. Andrew Harvey from the Fiordland Lobster Company says things are looking up now that flights carrying live lobsters have resumed but he says the industry is monitoring whether China will be affected by a second wave of infections.


The 90s File - Matt Beck

Originally from Oklahoma, Matt is a PhD student at Lincoln University. He's working with Callaghan Innovation and Agriseeds on promoting better health and nutrition for dairy cows, sheep and deer.


On the farm: What's happening in rural New Zealand this week

Frosts tickled much of the North Island this week. Now saleyards have opened the demand for store stock has improved.


Industry facing shearing shortages

The Shearing Contractors Association says it may have to recruit newcomers to the industry if shearers and shed workers form the northern hemisphere are unable to come in to New Zealand this year.


Full Episode for Friday May 22 2020

It's back to business in market town Feilding and the live lobster industry claws its way back now that air freight to China has resumed. The Shearing Contractors Association says it may have to recruit newcomers to the industry and frosts tickled much of the North Island this week.


Feed Convoy heads to Hawkes Bay

Hundreds of bales of donated hay, emblazoned with smiley faces and messages like "kia kaha", are heading to Hawkes Bay this weekend as part of the Rapa Feed Run. Organisers Sophie and Daniel Hansen are hoping the convoy of trucks will nail home the desperate need of their farming cousins further north and remind those farmers they have plenty of community support.


12-year-old photographer brings drought struggles home

The Jowsey family are among many Hawkes Bay farmers struggling with drought. The daily grind of feeding and watering stock on the parched paddocks is being documented on camera by the youngest in the family, 12 year old Selby.


The Cost of the Drought

Helensville dairy farmers Scott and Sue Narbey have been adding up how much this year's drought has cost them.



The honey production season has been better this year, but there are still large numbers of beekeepers trying to get out of the industry because they are not making money. Chris Honnis is a small Waikato beekeeper who will stay in the industry he loves, but he says it is in the doldrums.


On the farm: What's happening around New Zealand

It's still horrifically dry in Southern Hawkes Bay and some Gisborne mandarins are being held on trees until demand picks up post lockdown, while in the South Island green kiwifruit are being harvested in Nelson, while Marlborough through to Northern Southland is desperately dry and supplements are hard to find and expensive.


A country lockdown

Rob Lyons and Joe Swann are mechanical engineers from Ireland and Scotland, making Triumph motorbikes. While in NZ on a mountainbiking trip, they found themselves stuck here because of Covid-19. They have turned their hand to agricultural work, picking grapes and are now heading north to do kiwifruit. They've been living the country life with the river for a shower and a park in Masterton, their backyard.


Full Episode for Friday May 15 2020

Country Life has a bit of a dry programme today : there is the personal impact of the severe drought in Southern Hawkes Bay ... a convoy of trucks taking stock food from Wairarapa to Hawkes Bay, and a Helensville couple count the cost of the drought.


Scandinavian settlers' stories revealed in Norsewood graveyard

The Norsewood cemetery reveals a lot about the hardy Scandinavians who came to NZ in the 1870s. What they found here is far from what they were promised but many lived to a ripe old age despite the grim conditions.