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New Zealand Arapawa Goat Association

New Zealand Arapawa Goat Association

(Incorporating the International Arapawa Goat Association)



Michael and Bev
Beverley and Michael feeding a Dorset Horn ewe

Michael Trotter ~ Summer Wine

My wife Beverley and I retired from scientific and administrative work at Canterbury Museum in the 1990s to live on a ten-acre smallholding in Tuahiwi, North Canterbury, New Zealand, which we named “Summer Wine” – partly after a British television series! – to signify that this was to be the best time of our lives. Here we specialized in raising rare breed livestock: Dorset Horn sheep, Dun Dexter cattle, Arapawa goats, Orpington chooks, plus an assortment of bantams, various breeds of ducks, a dog or two and a farm cat. After half a lifetime in a Museum working with historic objects indoors – we were now enjoying preserving historic animals outdoors – not all that much different really!!

Arapawa goat
Young Arapawa goat photographed on the Island by Michael in 1978

After a few years we decided that sheep were too much work so we disposed of the stud flock that we had proudly built up, and since then the Arapawa goats – we obtained our first three does from David Hughes – have become an increasingly more important part of the Summer Wine livestock.

I had first encountered Arapawa goats on a visit to Arapawa Island in 1978, being introduced to the tame ones around Betty Rowe’s place, and also seeing and hearing wild goats on the rugged hillside on the opposite side of the Island.

Before settling in Tuahiwi, we had both worked in archaeology and prehistory at the Museum, and on our retirement we set up a small archaeological consulting business, concentrating on work and research in Canterbury and Marlborough.

Arapawa goats
Michael feeding some of his Arapawa goats – Border Collie Galla in the foreground

As well, we let ourselves be talked into taking on the production and operation a major website and the publication of a quarterly magazine, both for the Rare Breeds Conservation Society of New Zealand. For a while Beverley in particular also wrote popular articles on rare breeds and allied topics for “lifestyle” magazines such as Growing Today.

Sadly, Beverley died from cancer in 2006 and I have since carried on with the various things that we had previously done together, including research and publication in both rare breeds of livestock and local archaeology.


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New Zealand Arapawa Goat Association

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