One of the things I really enjoy about my career is the travelling; seeing other cultures and their environments. What it has done is open my eyes to what we have here, at home in New Zealand.
I think my interest in sustainability has grown a lot recently, facilitated by studying university papers in environmental sciences, which I absolutely loved.
Our landscape and our environment are unique, and ensuring we look after them is very important to me. Sustainability is really at the forefront of our minds, especially in the world we are living in now. Whilst I am by no means an expert, it’s interesting that the more you learn the more you notice misconceptions or contradictions out there – it is not easy to know what to think.
When I was first speaking to Beef + Lamb – before I was announced as an Iron Maiden – it was important to me to research red meat farming practices in New Zealand. Interestingly, a lot of the information and research out there is not necessarily representative of Kiwi methods, which I think is important to understand. There are so many good things happening in the industry and New Zealand is often a leader in terms of technology and working towards sustainability in farming.
When I filmed the #IAMPROUD video with Beef + Lamb I went to a farm to plant the Totara tree you see in the video. I learnt this was just one of hundreds of native trees that had been introduced on this farm. The planting of native flora has many positive impacts on the environment including; stabilising soil and preventing erosion, providing cleaner waterways, supporting biodiversity of native species, offsetting carbon emissions, or simply to provide shelter for the livestock from adverse weather. This is just one of many good news stories happening on farms across our country.
I think it is also important to recognise that nothing is perfect and we should constantly be striving to improve what we do. I see this trait in the New Zealand farming industry, they acknowledge their impact on the environment and work hard on identifying ways to improve production. I can relate to that.
Like our farmers, I always want to be better and that drives my dedication and motivation to be the best I possibly can be. I look forward to learning more about New Zealand’s farms and the good work that is taking place on them.