Founded in hill country Alfredton in 1975, Wai-iti Romneys are now based 20 minutes east of Masterton at summer dry Puketiritiri; a farm of great potential, proving to be an excellent environment to challenge our sheep.
Sandy and Erena Wallace settled Wai-iti, a ballot farm for returned servicemen, in 1951. All of the energy in the early years at Wai-iti was channelled into pioneering-type jobs like land clearing, fertilising, fencing and building up stock numbers.
In 1973 Sandy and Erena, along with their son Tim and wife Barbie, began to build a nucleus flock of ewes from which they began breeding from in 1975.
Since then Wai-iti Romneys has steadily grown to become the successful stud it is today with many satisfied clients and ewes all over New Zealand.
By 2005 Wai-iti had grown to 730Ha and was an excellent testing ground for the recorded ewes to breed superior rams for market, all the time being run under commercial conditions. Wai-iti was medium to steep hill country and run at 12 – 13 stock units per hectare. Depending on the weather at lambing the ewes were lambing anywhere between 135-150% (ewes to the ram).
In 2005 Tim & Barbie shifted to Puketiritiri, in Wainuioru. Many new challenges have been faced and lessons learned for man and animal since the shift.
While not being as geographically steep as Wai-iti, Puketiritiri has proved many times over to be every bit as challenging an environment for stock to perform to a high standard, consistently. With unreliable springs and autumns we’re subject to typically dry East Coast summers, meaning we usually run straight out of the dry and into tupping. The type of sheep we are breeding need to be robust and of the right type to firstly get in lamb as a hogget, then turn around and get back in lamb and wean to a high standard in consecutive years. Having very little natural shelter combined with most of the farm being at around 1000ft above sea level, it is very exposed to cold southerlies that frequent us throughout the year, making new born lambs very reliant on their mothers mettle and natural mothering instincts.
Zandy and Caroline Wallace, who are committed to the future of the stud, moved home permanently in 2009 and are picking up the reins at Puketiritiri. Continuing development goes on; specifically drainage, re-grassing, subdivision, fertiliser and the planting of shelter belts.