Country Calendar: A Clean Break

Andreas Kurmann

This episode of Hyundai Country Calendar screened on 14 July, 7pm on TV ONE. If you missed it, (at the time of writing this post) it’s still available at

Interesting, challenging and inspiring – worth seeing.

“A Swiss soil and water scientist who has made his home in New Zealand believes this country is 30 years behind his homeland when it comes to caring for the environment.

Andreas Kurmann moved to Northland 15 years ago after being involved with a successful project to clean up Lake Konstanz in Switzerland. He now analyses soil and water for farmers and local authorities.

Andreas expected New Zealand to be “clean and green” but he’s found many rivers here are dirtier than Lake Konstanz at its worst. He is especially concerned about pollution from farm run-off in Lake Taupo.

Europe and the United States restrict the levels of phosphorus and nitrates in rivers and lakes but Andreas says there are no such regulations in New Zealand.

He follows his own advice for improving soil and waterways on a small block of land he owns at Taipa in Doubtless Bay. He uses only natural fertilisers and his goal is to retain nutrients and fix carbon in the soil by creating a healthy soil structure.

Andreas and his wife Rosy estimate they are 80 per cent sustainable on their four-and-a-half hectare block, where they produce meat, milk, eggs, honey, fruit and vegetables.”

See full episode details here: