Project LivestockNZ was formally established as a McGuinness Institute research project in 2016. The project was intended to build on previous work focused on agriculture, including research on benchmarking protein, genetic modification and NZ King Salmon farming in the Marlborough Sounds. Together this work would form the beginnings of an investigation into how New Zealand might transition smoothly towards a more sustainable livestock model.
Project LivestockNZ would enable the Institute to bring together previous work specifically on livestock that had been initiated as early as 2013, as well as to make use of the expertise of our patrons to help guide and stress-test this work. This work was based on the assumption New Zealand will need to manage farming practices. Our interest was in understanding what livestock (e.g. types, breeds and numbers) and what policy initiatives (e.g. taxes or incentives) might achieve the best outcomes for New Zealand in the longer term.
For the purpose of this research project, ‘livestock’ was defined as domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food (e.g. meat, eggs and fish) and fibre (e.g. wool and feathers). This definition sees livestock as having a commercial purpose in that they are reared specifically for financial gain.
Unfortunately, the organic nature of the McGuinness Institute work programme meant that these pieces of LivestockNZ work were never published. However, this is not to say that the Institute is no longer interested in this area. Instead, the LivestockNZ scoping work will be absorbed into the broader Project ClimateChangeNZ.