Goats were introduced by early settlers to be used as a source of food, then later for weed control and farming purposes.
Goat farming was popular in New Zealand from the 1970's-1990's, and is again giving positive returns to farmers from the sale of meat and fibre.
Feral Goats are found throughout the country. They are classed as a pest as they eat a wide variety of our vegetation. By eating smaller shrubs in our native bush, the forest floor is opened up to create a suitable habitat for possums, and less suitable for our natives like the kiwi bird. We have some of our friendly feral goats living in the park for you to meet, while the rest do a great job eating all the weeds on our surrounding farmland.
The Arapawa Goat is one of the rarest goats in the world, with less than 400 of them. They were released and now live wild on Arapaoa Island at the top of New Zealand's South Island (formerly named Arapawa Island). Could be descendends of the critically endangered Old English breed, gifted to New Zealand by Captain Cook in the 1700’s.