Lamb burgers are finally on the menu 30 years after they were first touted by former prime minister Mike Moore.
And the key ingredient in the latest offering from fast food Goliath McDonald's is being made in Waitara.
ANZCO staff members Hamish McCook, Vicki Marshall and Tarnz Smith taste the new lamb burger patties being produced for McDonalds at their Waitara production facility.
The McDonald's Serious Lamb Burger, the largest burger on the restaurant chain's menu, and Lamb Snack Wrap become permanent fixtures on the restaurant's menu today following two years of development.
All of the lamb patties used by the fast-food chain in New Zealand will be produced at Waitara's Anzco Prepared Foods.
General manager Hamish McCook said the plant had a long relationship with McDonald's and produced all of its beef-based burgers.
Mr McCook said the company, which has supplied McDonald's from its Waitara site since 2006, was approached late last year to work on the lamb products and it could produce more than 115,000 a day.
Each batch of the burgers is tested on site and feedback is provided to McDonald's.
"We cook them up exactly the way that they cook them in the restaurants, using exactly the same equipment," he said.
"We know that all of the lamb burgers that people buy in New Zealand are going to be perfect because we've checked every batch."
Staff at the Waitara plant have had to work extra hours as they prepared for today's launch but Mr McCook said it was too soon to say how valuable the new line would be for the business.
Federated Farmers meat and fibre chairwoman Jeanette Maxwell said the organisation was excited with the development.
"This is about adding value to the lamb we produce because for the first time ever, lamb is to become a permanent menu item in a major family restaurant chain," Mrs Maxwell said.
"This is where things get truly exciting. If lamb works here it may find itself on to menus in other countries, the Middle East and Asia especially.