Preface: First the Squatter, then the Runholder, after that the Farmer -- 1. The Pastoral Frontier: Occupying the Grasslands -- 2. Indiscriminate Burning? Fire as a Management Tool -- 3. "Rabbits on the Brain" -- 4. Overstocking, Overgrazing, Sheep Numbers and Stock Loading -- 5. Constructing the Landscape: Fencing, Cultivation, Oversowing and Drainage -- 6. Sheep Breeding: Shaping Sheep to Suit the Land -- 7. "Not Much of a Business" -- 8. Conclusion: Appraising Preconceptions, Prejudice and Proof -- Bibliography -- Index.
After spending 25 years shepherding and managing sheep stations in the South Island, Robert Peden completed a PhD thesis at the University of Otago in 2007 which won Otago's "exceptional thesis" award and is the basis of Making Sheep Country. Peden won a 2009 Claude McCarthy scholarship to complete this book. He is now an independent historian working on Te Ara, the online encyclopaedia of New Zealand and researching Treaty of Waitangi claims.