Marnie Anstis was born in the shadow of Taranaki in the early 1950’s. When she was five, her family moved to the Waikato where she attended Tahuna Primary School followed by Morrinsville College. Leaving school at 15, she spent the next nine years working on a family farm in the hills behind Opotiki in the Bay of Plenty.

“I was in my element exploring this new environment: the dense dark bush that layered the slopes, the trickling waterfalls, the rushing streams, the wide open view from hilltops – but most of all I treasured the isolation.
Mustering sheep and cattle, often barefoot-in-bikini, I lived a carefree existence. Fleeco-ing, pressing wool, scrub-cutting, fencing: all hands-on, practical hard work involving blood, sweat and blisters. I spent hours droving stock on horseback, and swore (not only at dogs) never to milk cows or go market-gardening.”

But love changed her outlook. She married Peter, who just happened to be a local dairy farmer.