It is often believed that the advent of machine shearing meant the end of blade shearing, but, as this interview with Graham Jones shows, there are still many gangs of blade shearers. The table of shearing methods used in Canterbury indicates that over a quarter of all sheep are shorn with blades. These sheep are predominantly in the high country or on Banks Peninsula, which are prone to snow and very cold conditions, because blade shearing leaves a protective covering of wool on the sheep. Snow combs, which are used on the handpieces of shearing machines, also leave a layer of uncut wool, and so are more commonly used in the colder hill country rather than on the plains.
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Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (Bladeshearing/Reference number 97/82/12).