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The third biennial Survey of Rural Decision Makers was run in September 2017. The survey addressed the same topics as the previous two surveys (2015 and 2013) but we have continued to refine the questions to make them more relevant to farmers.

SRDM logo 2017

The 2017 survey enabled us to:

  • Build on the data collected in 2013 and 2015 to establish a nationally representative repeated cross section
  • Provide information that complements rather than repeats other surveys
  • Incorporate emerging topics of interest
  • Enable the delivery of a wide range of analyses and statistical information to support national, regional and sector policy development and evaluation
  • Support research and insight into farmer decision making.

Summary results for 2017 are provided below as we hope you will find them interesting. All participating farmers are invited to view the results – it is rare to be offered these insights despite the high number of surveys they are asked to complete. This is another way of saying thank you to our participants.

About the survey


The survey was delivered on-line and farmers across the country in all types of farming were invited to participate via e-mail. Over 4,000 completed the survey in 2017. To say thank you to those who give up their valuable time to participate we offer a charity donation to a selection of relevant charities and offer a prize draw of a $500 Prezzy Card.


To acknowledge the time and expertise shared with us, we made a charitable donation for each response. We are pleased to announce the rural sector’s support of the following charitable causes:

  • Westpac Chopper Appeal ($10,890)
  • St John ($9,370)
  • SPCA ($3,700)
  • Starship Foundation ($3,260)
  • Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust ($1,350)
  • Rural Support Trust ($880)
  • Kaharoa Kokako Trust ($550)

Prize winners

And the six lucky Prezzy card winners were

  • Darcy and Inna B, Canterbury
  • Graham P, Waikato
  • Brett J, Auckland
  • Beth P, Northland
  • Bill and Linda J, Southland
  • Brian D, Taranaki

Survey results

The results are posted as pie and bar charts, histograms, and box-and-whisker plots. We have put together some brief guidelines on how to interpret these results.


If you would like to discuss how Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research can help your organisation gain insights from the Survey of Rural Decision Makers, please contact:

Joanne Dow
Principal Engagement Advisor
04 382 6641

Key contact