Tangowahine Farm and rural retreat

Tangowahine Farm and rural retreat

Dargaville, New Zealand
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Creating the ultimate living environment. At one with nature and farming for the future.

About You
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Last name


Your job title

Owner Farmer

Name of your organization

Tangowahine Farm Ltd

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Annual Budget/Currency

Mailing address

Mailing Address

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Your idea
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Street Address

1078 Tangowahine Valley Road, RD2



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Geotourism Challenge Addressed by Entrant

Quality of tourist experience and educational benefit to tourists .

Organization size

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Tourism-related business

Year innovation began


Indicate sector in which you principally work

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What is the goal of your innovation? Please describe in one sentence the kind of impact, change, or reform your approach is intended to achieve.

To provide a recreational holiday on a working and sustainable farm business and preserve our natural heritage

Please write an overview of your project. Include how your approach supports or embodies geotourism or destination stewardship. This text will appear when people scroll over the icon for your entry on the map located on the competition homepage.

Creating the ultimate living environment. At one with nature and farming for the future.

Explain in detail why your approach is innovative

When we purchased Tangowahine Farm it was a beef run off block with one third native forest and permanent streams. Previous owners had no interest in the ecology and the forest was considered of no value. We determined to create a working beef and sheep farm by supplementing our income with tourism. We fenced off the more vulnerable sections of forest and streams, purpose-built guest accommodation and the formula works. We see our operation as sustainable and the guests bring a wide range of experience and culture to Tangowahine but always leave with a little more. Guests are welcome to interact on the farm as much or as little as they wish with key animals on the farm prepared to interact with the guests. Guests may also be introduced to Maori and Pakeha (other Nationalities) perspectives of our community. Each guest is an individual and respected as such. Our purpose is to create the ultimate in a sustainable rural lifestyle that creates friendship and understanding around the world.

Describe the degree of success you have had to date. How do you measure, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the impact on sustainability or enhancement of local culture, environment, heritage, or aesthetics? How has it transformed or contributed to the power of place or demonstrated the sustainability of tourism? How does your approach minimize negative impacts?

By protecting the forest remnants we have a huge increase in native birds and regeneration of the forest. To ensure we had connectivity with the outside world we organised the installation of WiFi broadband while at the same time creating alternative power systems. We support local Maori by introducing overseas visitors to their culture and likewise our local school with fundraising activities.

In what ways are local residents actively involved in your work, including participation and community input? How has the community responded to or benefited from your approach?

Other local farmers are always keen to show off their activities so I often take our guests to neigbouring farms to see Milking, Shearing, Planting even bee keeping and kumara storage! The local farmers recognise what we are doing and respond extremely well in fact despite only being a recent local (7 years) I was invited to join the local farmers' union and have been appointed the chairperson of the local branch. Pauline has become the chairperson for the Kaipara District Ratepayers association and Hugh also serves on the newly formed Rural Support Trust Northland. This trust has been established by the government to overview the coordination of the various services in response to natural disasters.

How does your program promote traveler enthusiasm, satisfaction, and engagement with the locale?

We provide information on what is available to guests prior to arrival in the form of a comprehensive compendium written in a laid-back style. On arrival we point out the lack of signage and explain the basic rules of survival such as "if you open a gate please ensure it is securely fastened before you move on" and the basic command words for the working dogs which often creates total amazement with guests who have never had this experience before. We make available recreational equipment and maps of the region as well as taking an interest in their aspiration.

Describe how your work helps travelers and local residents better understand the value of the area's cultural and natural heritage, and educates them on local environmental issues.

We show them that life is simple and for living by example. We live in a slice of paradise, appreciate it and that rubs off. I take them through the processing of the animals and show that the stock is not only well cared for but a part of the infrastructure. I show them the excesses of the past and the steps we are taking to repair the damage with plantings and organic fertilizers; at the same time annual soil tests demonstrate we are on the right track. We have an extensive library which guests are most welcome to browse. As to acting responsibly the biggest problem with travelers is they so often create itineraries that are draining to say the least of resources and stamina. Our location is central so they are able to explore the region from the one base and recuperate and without exception that is the best lesson of all.

How is your initiative currently financed? If available, provide information on your finances and organization that could help others. Please list: Annual budget, annual revenue generated, size of part-time, full-time and volunteer staff.

The Farm provides about two thirds of the income and the Tourism the other third we can carry around 200 head of cattle and the same of sheep. We prefer no more than two couples at a time. We only employ one local person for cleaning duties but contract work out to many others for shearing, drainage, fencing, etc.

Is your initiative financially and organizationally sustainable? If not, what is required to make it so? Is there a potential demand for your innovation?

We are 100% economically sustainable. We show a small profit each year and we live a lifestyle that is the envy of many.

What are the main barriers you encounter in managing, implementing, or replicating your innovation? What barriers keep your program from having greater impact?

Unable to clone ourselves. We have no perceivable barriers other than a decline in the number of tourists coming to New Zealand.

What is your plan to expand or further develop your approach? Please indicate where/how you would like to grow or enhance your innovation, or have others do so.

we are working with farmers' groups to promote grass fed beef as the most natural meat product to choose. Our animals are never fed supplements other than hay cut on our farm. Our tourism is based on strategic advertising and word of mouth referrals. We would like to see up-market Farmstay holidays promoted separately from "Bed and Breakfast" type businesses.

The Story
What is the origin of your innovation? Tell the Changemakers and media communities what prompted you to start this initiative.

Pauline and I are recycled, by that I mean we used to be married to other people. When we got together she was a corporate high flyer and I was licking my wounds making a few dollars doing ecotourism trips on a local river tending a few acres and working whenever I needed. Prior to that I had owned businesses, been a cop, etc. She liked my lifestyle but with a daughter to put through university at the time we got together that was not an option however when daughter passed her exams and went to the bar (not the drinking kind) we were free enough and able to look for paradise. We found it after a search here in Tangowahine. A broken down bare block which we have tended and loved for the past eight years. It has rewarded us well . We grow every conceivable type of fruit, we farm and she now works for the district council - as she says "putting something back into the community". We planned from the start to offer accommodation to like minded people (where else would we get our entertainment before broadband?) .

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers' marketing material.

Hugh Rose An original Kiwi (bloody immigrant as they all once were). Arrived in NZ from the UK in 1976. Rural upbringing, former cop but trained as an electromechanical technician. Worked in Wellington for a year, hated it and moved to the Wairarapa. Settled in well but ended up founding the business Advance Equipment Supplies Ltd back in Wellington, commuted for a while then bought a farm on the Coast road, About this time -80's - she got the money and I kept the farm. Not a good time as I had commenced creating a farm park with Restaurant/tearooms and farm activities and a business partner who never came up with their share of the funding. So after a sojourn in Australia, came back and bought Waiarapa cottage and rebuilt it and an old sail boat which is about when Pauline came on the scene (see above). Pauline Rose Her family came out here in 1838 so I guess she is a real Pakeha Kiwi

Describe some unique tourist experiences that your approach provides. Be specific; give illustrative examples.

We have obtained 50/50 fencing grants from the Northland Regional Council to fence off
areas of the farm to allow native bush to regenerate in areas where the endangered kauri
snail is slowly regenerating.

What types of partnerships or professional development would be most beneficial in spreading your innovation?

For Farmstays of our nature to be defined and promoted around the world. Our tourism like our farming is sustainable and is unique however the common theme is respect for the animals, forest and environment.