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The sixth biennial Survey of Rural Decision Makers was conducted in winter 2023. Each year, new questions are added to reflect pressing knowledge gaps for industry, policy makers, and scientists. In 2023, new and expanded topic areas included winter grazing practices, forestry risk, biosecurity, volatility in input and output prices, life satisfaction, disaster preparedness, trustworthiness of advice, and the regulatory environment.

Logo: Survey of Rural Decision Makers 2023

These survey data:

  • Provide information that complements rather than repeating 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, growers, and lifestyle block owners.

Summary results for 2023 are provided below.

Survey results


Stahlmann-Brown P 2023. Survey of Rural Decision Makers 2023. DOI:

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About the survey


The 2023 wave of survey was completed by 5,243 farmers, foresters, growers, and lifestyle block owners. Two-thirds of respondents identify as being commercial operators while one-third identify as lifestyle block owners.


To acknowledge the time and expertise shared with us, we made over $49,000 in donations to charities selected by respondents. We are pleased to announce the rural sector’s support of the following charitable causes:

  • Westpac Chopper Appeal ($28,000)
  • East Coast Rural Support Trust ($10,000)
  • Retired Working Dogs ($7,500)
  • New Zealand Red Cross ($3,650)

Charities sponsored by SRDM in 2023

Prize winners

We gratefully acknowledge everyone who participated in the 2023 Survey of Rural Decision Makers. Congratulations to the following five respondents, each of whom won a $500 supermarket voucher:

  • Gill A, Warkworth
  • Gillian S, Waiuku
  • Glenn D, Invercargill
  • Robert W, Balcultha
  • Sally D, Timaru
  • Thomas L, Hastings


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 science contact