Navigation for Insight

mcKenzie resizeThe dry grasslands of the South Island's Mackenzie Country are a truly iconic New Zealand location.

A tough and unforgiving land where farming is difficult, and where generations of New Zealand farming families have struggled with snow and ice, as well as drought and pests.

But the Mackenzie Country is undergoing a transformation; the tussock is giving way to ryegrass, and the sheep are slowly being replaced by dairy cows.

Photo:  Iconic Mackenzie Country that could be changed by intensive farming (RNZ)

 Graeme Acton travels to the heart of the South Island High Country, where farmers and environmentalists are locked in a battle pitting farming intensification against those who want preserve what they believe is the essence of the Mackenzie.