Country Life

Friday 19 December 2014, with Carol Stiles, Susan Murray, Cosmo Kentish-Barnes & Duncan Smith

This is the last Country Life programme for the year.

We’ll be back again with more stories from rural New Zealand on Friday 23 January, 2015. 

Meanwhile we've wrangled together some of our favourite Country Life stories from 2014.

In this week's show:

Waireka Polo Farm

Roddy Wood

It took Roddy Wood (above), one of New Zealand's top polo players, several years to convert a block of bare land near Sefton, into a tree lined equestrian centre that's now home to 70 well groomed polo horses. The property also has its own polo pitch, an elegant spectator pavilion and several stables.

Roddy is a former manager of the prestigious Guards Polo Club in England, the home club of Prince Charles and his sons, William and Harry. For many years he was the polo manager of the Palmera Polo Team for Sheikh Mohamed Alhamrani and, at the peak of his professional playing career, reached a six-goal handicap.

With the help of his three, polo playing sons, Charlie, Jimmy and Henry, Roddy offers coaching to international visitors wanting to improve their game.

He is passionate about encouraging young people into polo.

The New Zealand Polo Association has initiated a programme called Supa (Schools and Universities Polo Association) to introduce newcomers to the game and to break down the perception that you needed a lot of money to play the sport.

Roddy says, "I would just like to have five times as many people playing, I want more polo fields, more people joining and playing at clubs so we can become a much more competitive country".

The South Island programme is based at Waireka and students from at least 12 schools attend polo classes. Roddy provides the field, equipment and the horses so there is no costly outlay for the participants.

(Below) Henry Wood, Lizzie Odegaard, Ang Tshering and Glen Armstrong (photos by Cosmo Kentish-Barnes).





Monowai Wines

carolEmma Lowe and Marcelo Nunez of Monowai wines.

Emma Lowe went to school in Hamilton then on to study the art and science of wine making in Adelaide, Australia and then California. She's worked in many wineries around the globe. It was when she was working Chile that she met the man who would become her husband, Marcelo Nunez. Now, Marcelo's grape growing skills are being put into practice on their own vineyard, Monowai, in Hawkes Bay. Only 3 per cent of Emma and Marcelo's wine is sold in New Zealand.

Guest Richard Welch

Richard Welch was part of the team which set the five stand lamb shearing record at this time last year. The road glory is filled with pain and hard slog.


Sector Report High Country Sheep, Arable, Cherries

Marlborough hill country farmer David Grigg, Mid-Canterbury cropping farmer David Clark and Tim Jones from 45 South Cherry Orchard in Central Otago.

Sector Report Vegetables and Beef

Bharat Jivan from the Pukekohe Vegetable Association looks at a few vege crops, and Bob Thompson from AgFirst discusses beef farming.

Sector Report Dairy and Sheep

Dave Miller from AgFirst talks about dairy fortunes and Steve Wyn-Harris looks at lamb prices and the mood of sheep and beef farmers.