New Zealand is the youngest country on earth - the last major landmass to be discovered. It has a rich and fascinating history, reflecting both the Maori and European heritage.

Comparable in size and/or shape to Great Britain, New Zealand has a population of only 4 million. A temperate climate with relatively small seasonal variation makes it an ideal year-round diary producing nation.

Climate is of paramount importance to the people of New Zealand — many of whom make their living from the land. New Zealand has mild temperatures, moderately high rainfall, and many hours of sunshine throughout most of the country. Its climate is dominated by two main geographical features — the mountains and the sea. It is these temperate conditions that allow all year free range farming with dairy cattle. Most of the country lies close to the coast, which means mild temperatures, moderate rainfall, and abundant sunshine. Most places in New Zealand receive over 2000 hours of sunshine a year, with the sunniest areas — Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay and Nelson/Marlborough — receiving over 2350 hours. As New Zealand observes daylight saving, during summer months daylight can last up until 9.00pm. New Zealand experiences relatively little air pollution compared to many other countries. While summer is sunnier than the other seasons, most regions in New Zealand have a relatively high proportion of sunlight during the winter months.

New Zealand’s average rainfall is high — between 640mm and 1500mm — and evenly spread throughout the year. As well as producing areas of stunning native forest, this high rainfall makes New Zealand an ideal place for diary farming and horticulture