Our Journey

Our story begins back in 1982, when John Perrin made the decision to leave the Lands and Survey Department, where he had been settling families onto new farms in the Whakapapa and Wharere land blocks, and start a business for himself.

With a nucleus of only three clients, including Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands Inc and the Kokako Trust, the firm that was to eventually become Perrin Ag came into being.

In 2001, after almost two decades of partnership as Perrin & Whyte, John again found himself starting over by himself, this time as Perrin Ag Consultants Ltd.  By 2003, Trudy Laan, not long having moved to Rotorua, joined John in the firm as his partner and business started to grow.  In 2006 they were joined by Lee Matheson, an investment banker from Wellington, who became the third partner in 2008.

The firm continued to grow, albeit slowly, around a core client base of four Māori Trusts and Incorporations, a number of large farm development projects and regular offshore advisory work. The 2008 global financial crisis resulted in the need for a new service offering, business recovery, and by 2011, the firm needed a bigger team.

By the time Duncan Walker joined Perrin Ag in 2011, the firm’s farm management portfolio had expanded to six businesses (with 12 properties) and a new challenge was appearing over the horizon – farming’s environmental footprint.

From 2013, the firm started to grow rapidly, with four new people joining the team over the following two years and Duncan becoming a shareholder in the business in 2014.  Leighton Parker arrived in Rotorua in 2016 as the 11th member of the Perrin Ag team and became its fifth shareholder in 2018.

Today, Perrin Ag, operates out of its Rotorua head office and Palmerston North hub with over 20 staff and clients across New Zealand.  While farm management services still provides a cornerstone of the firm’s work, with 26 properties from Culverden to Pukehina, the business now has a significant family farm client base and works with businesses across the food value chain.

Perrin Ag Consultants - NZ farm advisors

Our Tohu

Our tohu, or logo, represents our deep connection to the place our business started, Rotorua. Updated in 2019, this logo design also references the original logo created by company founder John Perrin.

The land circles around the outside of the icon, the dark green of our forests and the light green of our pastures.  The water sits in the centre like our lake, Rotorua-nui-a Kahumatamoemoe, fed by the dark blue waters of the underground aquifers and the light blue water from the sky. The heart of the tohu, between all the colours, represents Mokoia, the island in the centre of Rotorua.

Four colours also reference our business’ four values – passion, integrity, community and teamwork.

The koru motif portrays the new beginnings, growth and regeneration that come when we hold true to our values and use our land and water resources responsibly.

Lee Matheson

Managing Director
Principal Consultant

B.Appl.Sc (Hons), FNZIPIM (Reg)

Lee came to agribusiness consultancy via the unlikely pathway of a suburban Wellington upbringing, an Honours degree in plant science and a six-year career in the financial markets. In his role as the firm’s MD, Lee doesn’t get out on-farm as much as he used to but makes the most of it when he does. While having swapped the paddock for the boardroom, Lee continues to provide advice in the areas of farm business strategy, farm system innovation, corporate governance, investment analysis and economic research.

Outside of Perrin Ag, Lee loves to spend his time coaching rugby, watching his three kids play sport and gardening with his wife Haidee.

“I love the challenge of empowering people in our primary sectors and the excitement of seeing clients achieving their aspirations. If we can encourage farmers to engage with their consumers, take a more active involvement in their supply chains and view their businesses through a wider lens, then I think our industries have a great future.”

Michael Booth

Senior Consultant

B.Com Af (FM)

Mike brings a wealth of agri-tech and dairy systems expertise to Perrin Ag. After graduating with a Bachelor of AgriCommerce from Massey, he started his career with DairyNZ as a consulting officer where he ran discussion groups and managed farm supervision.

He left DairyNZ to travel the world but within a few months Covid hit, the borders closed, and Mike and his wife Nikita returned home. Back in New Zealand, he took up a role managing DairyNZ’s monitor farms on the Hauraki Plains before joining Halter.

After finishing his OE, he returned home to live in Papamoa and joined the Perrin Ag team in February 2024.

“I’m not someone who likes to sit still and I like to be continually learning. I saw an opportunity with Perrin Ag. As a business their ethos is about continuous improvement and learning. There are always new and better ways of doing things and we need to be at the forefront of that for our clients.”

Abbey Dowd

Consultant

B.Ag.Sc (Hons), MNZIPIM

Abbey joined Perrin Ag in February 2023 as part of the firm’s graduate recruitment programme, Empower.

Abbey grew up surrounded by dairy farms in a close-knit community in South Waikato. She saw first-hand how local farmers supported her community, which is what inspired her to study at Lincoln University.

Growing up in a rural community Abbey has always been impressed by how much local farmers contribute to the community. She wanted to help give back to the industry and play a part in helping our primary sector continue to produce quality food in a sustainable way.

In 2022, Abbey spent the summer as an intern on one of New Zealand’s first commercial deer milking operations. Her Honours project was researching deer milk alongside other more traditional milking operations and assessing the deer milking industry’s future production possibilities.

“Growing up I didn’t live on a farm, but I always knew I wanted to work in the farming sector. I wanted a role where there was a balance between working on and off farm and where I could support farmers to get the best out of their businesses.”

Sam Gray

Consultant

Sam grew up on a dairy farm in the Far North. After graduating from the University of Otago in 2005 with an Honours degree in molecular biotechnology, he spent several years working in medical research in New Zealand and Scotland. Upon returning to New Zealand in 2012, he spent four seasons dairy farming in Northland before purchasing a 56 ha block in Taupо̄, where he was first exposed to farming under a nitrogen cap. Sam joined Perrin Ag in 2023 and brings his strong analytical skills that are grounded by a pragmatic approach to problem solving. Outside of farming and consultancy, you’ll likely find him fly fishing, hunting or snowboarding.

“A lot of farmers feel overwhelmed in the face of a rapidly changing regulatory landscape. I strive to help farmers understand what these environmental regulations mean for their business, and offer practical solutions that allow them to keep doing what they do best, whilst remaining compliant”.

Danni Armstrong

Finance administrator

Danni grew up on a life style block in Atiamuri and spent five seasons as a relief milker in the area. During this time, her full time roles were in various fields including the rental car, health care and marine industries. Danni has had a focus on administrative and accounting duties, but is also proficient in looking after customers especially well, social media and website operation, running a rental car fleet and the associated tasks like training, rosters, H&S and organising repairs! Danni joined Perrin Ag in May 2021, to be part of a business in an industry she is passionate about.

During her spare time Danni can be found reading a book with her cats or out enjoying the walks in Rotorua’s Redwoods.

“What motivates me each day is knowing that I will be challenged with a range of problem solving tasks. I love to see all the figures adding up and knowing that my role makes a difference to the team.”

Duncan Walker

Director
Principal Consultant

B.Appl.Sc, MNZIPIM (Reg)

Coming from a drystock and dairy farming background, Duncan has always been passionate about growing primary sector businesses. Whether it’s pastoral farming, forestry, horticulture or investments outside the farm gate, sustainably optimising business performance is Duncan’s passion. After graduating from Massey University with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agribusiness, Duncan’s first opportunity to optimise a farm business was by undertaking a dairy conversion. Duncan project managed the conversion and continued to run the dairy farm for a further three years.

Since joining Perrin Ag in 2011 Duncan works with a wide range of clients including those ‘outside the farm gate’. With his strong background in investment analysis, business strategy and project management, Duncan is increasingly working with clients to analyse and integrate horticulture and forestry investments into their farm businesses.

“I enjoy helping clients navigate through the complexities of today’s operational, financial and environmental challenges. Seeing clients achieve their goals is very rewarding”

Lee Matheson

Managing Director
Principal Consultant

B.Appl.Sc (Hons), FNZIPIM (Reg)

Lee came to agribusiness consultancy via the unlikely pathway of a suburban Wellington upbringing, an Honours degree in plant science and a six-year career in the financial markets. In his role as the firm’s MD, Lee doesn’t get out on-farm as much as he used to but makes the most of it when he does. While having swapped the paddock for the boardroom, Lee continues to provide advice in the areas of farm business strategy, farm system innovation, corporate governance, investment analysis and economic research.

Outside of Perrin Ag, Lee loves to spend his time coaching rugby, watching his three kids play sport and gardening with his wife Haidee.

“I love the challenge of empowering people in our primary sectors and the excitement of seeing clients achieving their aspirations.  If we can encourage farmers to engage with their consumers, take a more active involvement in their supply chains and view their businesses through a wider lens, then I think our industries have a great future.”