Story: Sheep farming

Helping the farmer through a crisis

Helping the farmer through a crisis

In the mid-1980s, production incentives and price guarantees for meat and wool were removed over a short period. Farmers suddenly had to face the reality of the free market, and product prices fell sharply. Farmers with a lot of debt went bankrupt, and many had to work away from their farms to survive financially. Sheep numbers declined. In this cartoon Eric Heath proposes alternative roles for the country’s surplus sheep.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: B-145-009
Cartoon by Eric Heath

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Hugh Stringleman and Robert Peden, 'Sheep farming - Changes from the 20th century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 8 March 2021)

Story by Hugh Stringleman and Robert Peden, published 24 Nov 2008, updated 3 Mar 2015