New Zealand Primary Industry

Image: Baby fruit by Chris Gin on Flickr

Primary Industry refers to production that makes direct use of natural resources and includes agriculture, farming, forestry, fishing, and mining. The resources below explore the main primary industries in New Zealand. SCIS 1698538

See also: Coal mining in New Zealand, Gold mining in New Zealand and Sustainable farming

Beef + Lamb New Zealand

This is the website of the organisation representing New Zealand's sheep and beef farmers.  It includes farm fact sheets and reports on everything from animal health to farm productivity.

Suggested level: secondary

Christchurch City Libraries

This collection of websites has been curated by Christchurch City Libraries. It includes links to traditional industries such as farming and forestry, as well as smaller industries like beekeeping and organics.

Suggested level: secondary

Go Dairy!

Dairy NZ is the organisation that represents New Zealand’s dairy farmers.  This website contains a broad overview of dairy farming in New Zealand and the developing technologies within this industry.  Facts and figures on production and exports and the sustainability issues facing farmers today are also examined.

Suggested level: intermediate, secondary


To discover information on the schoolwork site ManyAnswers, a number of search terms are useful including farming, agriculture, and dairy products

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary

Ministry for Primary Industries

This website contains comprehensive information on agriculture,farming, forestry, fishing, and mining including relevant statistics. Information on biosecurity, animal welfare and food safety is also included.

Suggested level: intermediate, secondary

Plant and Food Research

This is the website of a New Zealand-based science company focusing on fruit, vegetable and food product research and development. It provides an overview and short videos of some of the research projects being undertaken, for example, research into a new variety of kiwifruit resistant to Psa disease.

Suggested level: secondary


Scion is a Crown Research Institute specialising in research and development for the New Zealand forestry and wood product industry. This website outlines research into a range of forestry topics such as sustainable forest management, biosecurity, tree species improvement, climate change, and fire management.

Suggested level: secondary

Statistics New Zealand

This website, from the New Zealand government, provides detailed statistics and reports on sheep, beef, dairy cattle and deer farming, as well as crops and forestry.

Suggested level: intermediate, secondary

Te Ara

Te Ara provides a brief overview of New Zealand’s main primary industries. It also looks into the different regions of New Zealand and the different crops and products they produce.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary

TVNZ 7 Learning Hub

Innovation Stories: Iwi Eel Research
Eel is considered a delicacy in many cultures and eel exports earn New Zealand over 6 million dollars per year. This website examines the eel industry and the challenges it faces to ensure the industry remains sustainable.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary

Zespri Kiwifruit

Kiwifruit is New Zealand’s second largest horticultural export and Zespri International Ltd is the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit. This website has information on all aspects of kiwifruit production in New Zealand.

Suggested level: intermediate, secondary


Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre offers wide-ranging articles on primary industries in New Zealand. School login (username and password) is required.

Suggested level: intermediate, secondary


Have you thought about using fiction with your class to support your topic? The following are some suggestions for your students (and you!) to read and enjoy.

Night vision, by Ella West , 2014 (YA fiction)
Running hot, by David Hill, 2006 (YA fiction)

New Zealand Greenshell mussel farming in the Hauraki Gulf. Aquaculture New Zealand.  YouTube. 3:26.