What is an Industry?

There is little doubt that in our industry – wait, hold on, a little aside here, don’t you think the word “industry” is inappropriate when used to describe professions or callings that work with nature?

Industries to my mind are mining, manufacturing, telecommunications, transport, areas of an economy that don’t really interact in either a meaningful or positive way with nature

So, is farming an industry?

It is called an industry, and I would think part of the reason for this is that by the use of that word you disassociate many of the practices of modern agriculture with the rhythms of nature. Man’s will is imposed on natural systems, and for a relatively short time in the overall scheme of life, that appears to sort of work. Long term of course is another story.

Getting back to what we do at River Valley.

There is no extraction or using up of resources with this raft on the Rangitikei River.


We are a tourism company that has a major aim to share the natural world with our guests. We also strive to do this with minimal environmental impact. In fact we aim to actually leave the land and its citizens in a healthier state than before we interacted with them.

This is not the hallmark of an “industry”.

Industries view natural life, natures abundance, and even other human beings as items on a spreadsheet. Items that can be exploited and used up and converted into dollars. This approach ignores that we, that is us human beings, are also a part, not apart, from the natural world.

So no, River Valley is not a part of the tourism “industry”.

Glad I was able to clear that up.

Brian Megaw

p.s. This blog was originally going to be about health & safety but took an unexpected direction. Life sometimes does that.