As James Cameron and his family get closer to making their part-time move to New Zealand this fall, plans for what he intends to do with the more than 2,500 acres of land he recently purchased are coming together. 


The 57-year-old "Avatar" director scooped up the massive property (which includes one of country's largest fresh water lakes) earlier this year for an estimated $16 million-$20 million. "I fell in love with New Zealand on a visit in 1994, and vowed to live here someday," Cameron said in an earlier statement. "Now that dream is becoming a reality."


As part of the purchase agreement, the New Zealand government required that Cameron and his family continue to run part of the property as a farm. The expectation was that he might pick up the dairy operation (New Zealand is the eighth largest milk producer in the world) — but in a new interview with the New York Times, he’s decided to go in the opposite direction. From the article:


But the current operation — built mostly around cows — poses a problem for Mr. Cameron, who said his wife, Suzy Amis, had pushed him and their children toward a plant-based diet. “So we’re looking for something more crop based,” Mr. Cameron explained. “I don’t want to be a hypocrite.”

Cameron didn't reveal exactly what crops he might have in mind to start planting, but the article mentions that he's already started consulting with neighbors over ways to improve the soil. To be sure, he won't be the one out there tending the land full-time  after all, there's the whole "Avatar" sequels to throw himself into. But certainly, he'll remain close to its development and cultivation. 


''I grew up working on my grandfather's farm in Canada and my wife Suzy's family own a farm in Oklahoma," he added. ''We want to raise our kids with the values we had when we were growing up, close to the land and with a strong work ethic. We hope we will be accepted as good neighbors and good members of the community in South Wairarapa."

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

James Cameron's animal-friendly New Zealand farm
Director reveals in a new interview with the NY Times that he's abandoning the former dairy farm on his new land in favor of something more plant-based.