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The fourth biennial Survey of Rural Decision Makers was conducted in spring 2019. The survey addressed similar topics to the previous three waves (2013, 2015, 2017), but questions have been refined to reflect topics of emerging interest. In 2019, these topics included tree planting, resilience, and risk mitigation.

There were 3740 responses to the 2019 wave of the SRDM, including 1619 respondents who also completed the 2017 wave. These data:

  • 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 decision making among farmers, foresters, and growers.

Summary results for 2019 are provided below. All participating farmers, foresters, and growers are invited to view the results – it is rare to be offered these insights despite the high number of surveys that they are asked to complete.

About the survey


The Survey of Rural Decision Makers is completed by farmers, foresters, and growers (including both commercial operators and those on lifestyle blocks). Some 3,740 people from representing all types of primary production and all 16 regions completed the survey. This figures includes 1,619 respondents who also completed the 2017 Survey of Rural Decision Makers.


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 ($11,800)
  • Cancer Society of New Zealand Incorporated ($8,820)
  • Blind Foundation guide dogs ($4,740)
  • Mauri Ora Kākāpō Trust ($4,640)

Prize winners

We gratefully acknowledge all respondents of the 2019 Survey of Rural Decision Makers, and we are happy to announce the five lucky winners of our $500 supermarket/fuel prize draws.

  • Mark M., Levin
  • Melanie M. Morrinsville
  • Nicole L. Feilding
  • Donal M., Balclutha
  • Allen L., Christchurch

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.


Stahlmann-Brown P 2019.  Survey of Rural Decision Makers 2019. DOI:


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