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Landcare Research survey July 2015

Decisions, Decisions – the 2015 Survey of Rural Decision Makers

(Survey opens 1 July 2015)

What will New Zealand’s rural landscape look like in 50 years? Much will depend on how we respond to the challenges facing us now and the business and land management decisions we make over the next few years.

In July 2015, Landcare Research will be surveying land owners and managers across the rural spectrum to explore these decisions - going beyond the “what” of the farm operation to consider the “why, when and how” in a Survey of Rural Decision Makers.

The information from the Survey of Rural Decision Makers will be used by researchers , policy-makers and industry to build a better picture of what New Zealand’s primary industry might look like 10, 20, and even 50 years in the future. The survey covers the entire rural spectrum from dairy, sheep and beef, deer, arable, forestry, horticulture and wine-growing and accommodates the multiple activities, including restoration and conservation, that farmers and growers are be engaged in.

The survey has been developed in collaboration with subject-matter experts and was given a thorough test-drive with a group of rural decision-makers this month. “It’s good to find that others are interested in the choices and decisions we are faced with – this survey really got me thinking about things and in the end I actually enjoyed doing it.” Joanne Burke, Mid Canterbury. The questions tackle topics such as land use, management objectives and future plans; all delivered in a smart on-line format so that you are only asked the questions relevant to you.


Landcare Research started the Survey of Rural Decision Makers in 2013 to help policy makers, researchers and industry groups better understand the realities of how land management decisions are made at an operational level. At that time more than 1500 farmers, foresters, and growers responded to the survey to share their thoughts (and supported several charities to the total of $15,000 in the process). The survey results were made available on the Landcare Research website so that those who had responded could see for themselves what peers in their industry or others in their regions were doing and thinking. You can see the results from 2013; just click here to take a look.

The information from that first survey in 2013 has proved so valuable that Landcare Research will refine and repeat the survey every two years. The survey team is keen to ensure that more farmers have the opportunity to have their say: “this will ensure that the information is more reliable and useful to the industry as well as to researchers” says Christine Harper, Business Manager at Landcare Research.

How to get involved

The survey is on-line and takes about 20 minutes to complete– perhaps a little more for complex operations and less if straightforward. Click here to do the survey now. We think you might find some of the questions thought-provoking and perhaps (dare I say it) enjoyable!

For the first 3,000 responses, Landcare Research will make a donation of $10 to relevant charities including the Rescue Helicopter, CanTeen or the Federated Farmers Adverse Events Trust. To say thank you directly, all respondents will be included in a prize draw for 5x$500 Prezzy Cards.

The fine print: The information you provide will be anonymous and results will only be reported in a way that individuals are not identifiable. The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete (depending on the complexity of your operation). There is only one Survey of Rural Decision Makers and it is supported by a number of primary sectors – so if you’ve already completed it, thank you very much; you do not need to do it again.

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