Warmth + resilience: The story of Ruanui Station's woollen legacy

Warmth + resilience: The story of Ruanui Station's woollen legacy

Roughly 20 minutes West of Taihape in 'classic hill country' backdropped by Mt Ruapehu is the picturesque Ruanui Station. Meredith Carpenter a third-generation representative from Ruanui Station, shares the rich history and current endeavours of their family-run wool farm in New Zealand. 

Amidst fluctuating weather patterns and the pandemic's economic pressures, Carpenter recounts how the family business pivoted to create high-quality, 100% New Zealand-made lambswool products, including their cozy wool blankets. 

She vividly describes the farm's journey from facing plummeting wool prices to embracing online entrepreneurship and the unexpected silver linings of the pandemic, such as strengthened family bonds. 

"We really want to support manufacturing in New Zealand because we're so good at what we do here," she says.

The Carpenter family is committed to using New Zealand resources, ensuring that the entire process, from shearing to the final product, remains within the country. The conversation also delves into the historical aspects of Ruanui Station, painting a picture of the arduous conditions faced by earlier generations. 

Carpenter shares fascinating anecdotes about pack horses transporting wool through challenging terrains and how some horses served in the Boer War, illustrating the station's deep roots in New Zealand's history. 

Furthermore, she touches upon the emotional connection she has with wool, a sentiment inherited from her mother.

"That smell of wool brings back a lot of real loving memories for me." 

The family's response to the crisis in wool prices was not only a business move but also an endeavour to raise awareness about the value of strong wool and its growers. As for the products themselves, they are named after the paddocks on the farm, connecting them back to the land. 

"Every colour is named after a paddock." 

While the primary focus is on its wool blankets, Ruanui Station has expanded its offerings to include various woollen products such as jerseys, picnic blankets, and baby blankets. 

Listen to the full chat between Meredith Carpenter and Dominic George above.

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