Welcome to Bagshot, Whangaehu Valley, New Zealand.
Steeped in history and significant for its sacred, ancestral land, Bagshot is a 160-year-old, 586ha working sheep and beef farm located 18km north-east of Masterton in the Whangaehu Valley, New Zealand.
Here, productive flats collide with rolling hills before rising to steeper high country. The farm crescendos to its most sacred land in Rangitumau, the ancestral mountain and taonga of local iwi, Rangitane. From this peak, breathtaking views of the Wairarapa Valley and Tararua Ranges demonstrate the immensity of nature, and amplify the mountain’s sense of spiritual significance.
It’s not hard to see why we turn to these stunning surrounds for inspiration, and why we’re honoured to have the opportunity to capture the spirit and essence of our land in in each piece in the Hipi collection.
Today, Bagshot is home to the Tosswill family, who purchased the farm in 2017. Before then, Bagshot had remained in the Mawley family for five generations after Heathcote Mawley purchased the property in 1873 from the Crown.
We cannot be certain of the exact nature of the deal between the Crown and iwi. What we do know is that many of the deals done at this time left Maori disadvantaged. Rangitane ancestor, Marakaia Tawaroa, is named as a signatory to the 1858 deed of sale of the Matapihi Rangitumau Block (of which Bagshot is a small part).
Rangitumau was, is and will always be the ancestral mountain of Rangitane. What motivated the iwi to sell or whether it was a good or bad deal is not known by the iwi today.
The Waitangi Tribunal is doing great work addressing injustices and providing a platform from which parts of New Zealand's often unacknowledged, uncomfortable history can be brought to the fore and hopefully be used for positive purposes.
As an industry, we believe agriculture needs to work to improve its cultural competency and work with iwi to do better. Our farm and brand have their roots in Maoridom. We must acknowledge history, however uncomfortable, and though we may not be responsible for it, do everything in our power to restore relationships and to support the pride and connection to cultural birthplaces for Maori.
Michael and Kate Tosswill consider themselves stewards of the land, for current and future generations. They are respectfully aware of the significance of Rangitumau for local iwi and are committed to working in partnership with iwi for a better future. Michael and Kate have an open gate policy with iwi and actively encourage groups to access Rangitumau through Bagshot.
Our high quality products are a reflection of the care and commitment we put in to providing an environment in which our sheep maintain prime condition and health.
With best practice farming, we nurture our flock, who range freely over our rolling hills. Here they get the best pick of nature’s fresh grass and pure Rangitumau spring water, gravity fed to the trough by a solar powered pumping system.
We are proud to have gained Global Animal Partnership (GAP) Step 4 accreditation through an intensive independent, third party audit. This level of accreditation requires sheep to be 100% pasture raised and farmed with rigorous and uncompromising standards prioritising animal welfare. We are also Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) certified, a standard similar to GAP but with more stringent environmental and stewardship standards.
We welcome you to visit Rangitumau and experience the stunning views and historical significance for yourself, we simply ask that you leave only footprints.
Contact us directly for more information or alternatively get in touch with Rangitane contact, Joseph Potangaroa.
Haere mai, welcome all!