Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Survey of Rural Decision Makers

The Survey of Rural Decision Makers is a resource to help policy makers, regional councils, industry groups, and businesses to explore questions related to:

  • Ownership and structure
  • Land use, land-use change
  • Livestock
  • Forestry practice
  • Water and irrigation
  • Technology adoption
  • Climate
  • Vertebrate, plant pests
  • Networks, farming support
  • Values, norms, preferences
  • Farming objectives, profits
  • Labour
  • Demographics, education
  • Community participation
  • Future planning

It is designed to build a better picture of decision-making at farm level.  Economic, social and environmental data is integrated to provide research and advice that will shape land and water policies.

The survey is extensive but its delivery ensures that only the questions relevant to a responding farmer are asked, and all information provided is anonymous. Farmers are invited by e-mail to take part, and if they complete the survey, they can select a charity to receive a $10 donation to thank them for their time.

The Survey of Rural Decision Makers ran in 2013 (just over 1500 participants) and 2015 (more than 3000), and will be run again in September 2017.

Summary results from the survey are shared on this website in ways that provide regional or industry sector snapshots of the information.  The real value of the survey lies in the opportunities for deeper analysis using advanced statistical or econometric approaches.  Current research which draws on the survey information considers

  • Risk-taking, innovation and networks
  • Adoption and timing of good management practices
  • How does belief about future climate affect current practice
  • How does age affect on-farm decision-making

The Survey of Rural Decision Makers is managed by Landcare Research in collaboration with other research organisations, MPI, MfE, Statistics NZ, Regional Councils and rural sector industry-good organisations.  This independence and collective interest enables the survey to tackle topics that cannot be easily addressed in official statistics or directly by organisations.

“Everyone can see that Landcare Research has done this survey and it has more credibility than if we had done it ourselves. Our stakeholders trust that the information is not skewed” (Taranaki RC)
“The value of the survey is that it helps people think!” (Ministry for the Environment)