Through their long association with the area the Coop family have shown a deep commitment to the land and the community of Mahia. Richard and Hannah employ two locals as a shepherd and a general hand - Kingi Winiata Jnr and Charly Harrison – and others throughout the season when required.
Richard spent some time overseas and worked in Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay before returning to Mahia. Hannah worked in farm support services for DairyNZ in Whakatane and then for Wool New Zealand from her new home in Mahia.
Richard and Hannah are part of the Green Ribbon Award-winning Whangawehi Catchment Group, which, with help from the Hawke's Bay Regional Council, has funded a planting and fencing project (10ha fenced and 27,000 natives planted) on Okepuha Station.
"We have the big picture in mind. We're planting all these natives and there are so many other things that make up the word 'farming'. Mum's father was a bit of a legend back in the day. He said, 'If you look after the land it will look after you.' We like that. We're privileged to be doing what we're doing so we're putting in as much as we can and hopefully we'll get it back." - Richard Coop