James Cameron's vegan diet is thought to be behind his recent decision to buy a walnut orchard in Carterton.
The Hollywood director's previous purchases around his family's home in south Wairarapa have all been dairy farm land, and the Government requires that agricultural land bought by overseas investors must continue to be productive.
But dairying sits uneasily with his and his family's veganism, he told the New York Times last year.
"So we're looking for something more crop-based."
He has now found that in Pinnacle Grove, a walnut orchard that the Overseas Investment Office cleared him to buy last week.
In giving its consent, the OIO said that, as well as continuing to operate the orchard, Cameron, 58, planned to use the "knowledge and expertise" of current owners Ad and Alma van der Tol to begin walnut production on Pounui Station, one of his earlier purchases.
As well as shunning meat, fish, or poultry, vegans avoid all other animal products and by-products, such as eggs, dairy, honey and gelatine.
In a speech to the National Geographic Society last month, Cameron said the human race was "sleepwalking off a cliff" if it did not stop consuming animal products.
"By changing what you eat, you will change the entire contract between the human species and the natural world," he added.
Cameron's walnuts feature strongly in Wellington on a Plate and are used by at least 16 Wellington and Wairarapa eateries, including Artisan, Logan Brown, Osteria del Toro, Cafe Polo, Pravda and Cafe Mirabelle.
Glenys Almao, owner of Greytown's Main St Deli, said Pinnacle Grove walnuts stood out for their freshness, flavour and quality.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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