Episode 2.10: Dairy Cows, Climate Change and Settler Colonialism: Insights from Aotearoa/New Zealand


In this episode we talk about dairy farming and climate change in Aotearoa/New Zealand, focusing on how settler-colonial dynamics shape this complex story. New Zealand's dairy sector contributes 1/4 of that country's greenhouse gas emissions. Dr John Reid, Senior Research Fellow at the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre at University of Canterbury, and Dr. Hugh Campbell, Professor of Sociology at University of Otago tell us how this came to be, bringing their personal histories and research insights, as Māori and Pākehā (non-Māori New Zealanders) respectively. The episode shows how Indigenous sustainability values are having a growing influence on the agricultural sector today.


Peter Andrée
Professor, Department of Political Science, Carleton University


Dr John Reid
Senior Research Fellow, Ngāi Tahu Research Centre, University of Canterbury

Guest Bios


Hugh Campbell
Professor of Sociology, University of Otago, New Zealand

Guest Bios

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Guest Bios

John Reid

Dr John Reid is a specialist in indigenous economic development with a particular focus on land, freshwater, and ocean sustainability. He has Māori heritage and is a member of the tribe Ngāti Pikiao. He has spent 19 years as both a consultant and researcher building businesses and novel economic development approaches with Māori iwi/tribes in New Zealand. He is well-published in multiple fields and currently co-leads two national science programs: Indigenizing the Blue Economy; and the national Eco-Index. The first program is identifying the technologies, policies, regulations required to indigenize the economic management of New Zealand's marine economy. The second involves the development a national index for determining the levels of public and private investment in biodiversity and the impacts of that investment. John has received recognition for the work of his team, which includes the Auckland University Umanga Whanaungatanga Māori Business Recognition Award for the business Ngāi Tahu Pounamu. John is a TEDx alumni.

Hugh Campbell

Hugh Campbell is Chair in Sociology at the University of Otago where he has worked since 1994. His specialist areas of research are agriculture, food and sustainability with a particular interest in the ways that New Zealand farming has had to respond to multiple crises: collapse of colonial trading relationships in the 1970s, the neoliberalisation of the farm economy in the 1980s, and a series of biosecurity and climatic crises in the 21st century. His research and writing focuses on both the legacies of colonization as well as the future prospects for alternative forms of agriculture like organic, IPM and regenerative agriculture systems. He recently launched a book on the history and politics of farming in New Zealand titled Farming Inside Invisible Worlds: Modernist Agriculture and its Consequences (Bloomsbury Academic). In it he articulates how alternative agriculture in New Zealand is emerging around: a series of struggles in agricultural science, opportunities (and perils) in 'greening' food markets, an escalating series of environmental crises in farming and the rising power of new social movements in farming and food.