Dairy farming

The region is seeing the benefits of a strong environmental partnership between its dairy farmers and the Council.

The flagship riparian management programme is transforming the Taranaki landscape as around 1800 dairy farmers protect and enhance ringplain waterways by fencing and planting thousands of kilometres of streambank. The Council is confident this voluntary programme will be largely completed by the end of the decade.

The scale of the scheme reflects the importance of dairying to the region. It has been the major land use for many decades, although the total number of dairy cattle has remained relatively stable over the past 15 to 20 years. In 1998/1999 Taranaki had 481,034 milking cows, or almost 15% of the national herd; in 2013/2014, dairy cow numbers totalled 493,361, representing only 10% of the national herd (because of the growth in new dairying regions such as Southland, Canterbury and Otago).