West Coast celebrates 150 years of dairying

Steve Attwood

Steve Attwood

2019 marked 150 years since the first commercial dairy company was established on the South Island’s West Coast – and on ‘The Coast’ that means stories - lots of them.

Convergence got the chance to speak to locals about the Coast’s dairying history. Our work involved supporting our client Westland Milk Products by interviewing and filming a list of ‘characters’ representing this diverse history.

From the rigours of churning butter by hand, tall tales of adventurous milk runs, and the ‘cream that got the cat’; to the rise-and-fall of multiple small dairy co-operatives; stories of this vital and colourful industry have become West Coast legend.

Westland also commissioned a 150th anniversary website where all of the stories, photos and video clips collected by Convergence were featured, complementing, and expanding on, the printed supplement.

Working with Westland and local newspaper company the Greymouth Star (whose reporters collected even more interviews), we pulled some of these stories into a 150th commemorative advertising feature lift-out. The lift-out was delivered to every letterbox on the West Coast.

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