“Since European colonisation of New Zealand, the first thing we did was cash in our seals, then we cashed in our whales, and then our gold. And if you look at what we’re doing now, we’re cashing in our water,” says economist Peter Fraser.

Milk and Money: The True Cost of Dairy in Aotearoa is a six-part series exploring the dairy industry’s impact on the community, economy and environment of Aotearoa, and considering what a sustainable future for the industry could look like.

In Episode 1: Money, we explore how and why Aotearoa’s dairy boom occurred, and the important role the industry has played in our economy and rural communities.

But the industry has gathered bills that are yet to be paid - both in financial debt and environmental cost.

Re: Journalist Baz Macdonald speaks to Southland dairy farmers Scott and Ewen Mathieson, economist Peter Fraser and Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell.

Watch the whole series here.

Made with the support of NZ on Air.