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Episode 19: Island Farm

July 16 on TV ONE:

Island Farm

If you live on remote D'Urville Island, it's an eight-hour return trip to town by road and water taxi.

So it's no surprise that Angus and Rebecca Forgan and their three daughters leave the island only a few times a year. 

The Forgans have lived on the island at the outer end of the Marlborough Sounds for over five years. For Rebecca, a city girl, trained accountant and world traveler, it meant getting to grips with home schooling, learning to garden - and accepting that mail arrives just once a week by fishing boat.

Angus Forgan grew up on a farm in Marlborough, studied agriculture at Lincoln University, then worked on high country properties.

He was working in the Awatere Valley when he saw an advertisement for a farm manager's job on D'Urville Island. 

It was just the challenge Angus was looking for but, like Rebecca, he's had to make adjustments.  

They include coping with the gale-force winds that regularly lash the narrow island and having no pool of casual labour to help on the farm. Angus has also had to learn new skills including plumbing and fixing machinery, vehicles, and home appliances.

Nor is there anything straightforward about selling livestock. Angus has to bring in a barge, muster the stock to the beach, and load them on the boat within a four hour window between tides.

The Forgans say their children have gained a lot from island life, including a strong sense of self-reliance and independence. It has also taught them the value of having good neighbours and friends and the necessity of getting along with others in their community.  

But both Rebecca and Angus say the greatest reward has been bringing up their children in a natural, beautiful environment.  

For more about D'Urville Island


Jeff Aldridge

Field sound
Don Paulin

Offline editor
Brent Whitwell

Online editor
Alex Wright

Sound mixer
Ian Leslie

Network executive
Jude Callen

Consultant producer
Frank Torley

Associate producer
Dan Henry

Production manager
Robyn Best

Frank Torley

Julian O'Brien