Our Team

Trusted relationships

It’s hard to find people who reflect our clients’ values.  Building trust takes time.  So does building a great team.  

All our agribusiness advisors are members of New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management (NZIPIM). To become a member each advisor must hold minimum academic qualifications, have been employed as a Primary Industry Professional for three continuous years and completed an ethics module. Applications also have to be supported by referees and accepted by the NZIPIM Board.

Directors Lee Matheson, Duncan Walker, Trudy Laan and John Perrin have also achieved the prestigious status of becoming Registered Members. To achieve this status they have been identified by their professional peers and clients as having a level of expertise and a high standard of delivery in the core competencies. To achieve this status they have to provide examples of work for review by peers, provide referees (including clients) and be accepted by an interview panel. As Registered Members they are also held to a high standard around professional development and are required to complete set amounts of this every year.

Partners

Lee Matheson - Perrin Ag Consultants Managing Director
MANaGING DIRECTOR

Lee Matheson

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.”

Duncan Walker - Perrin Ag Consultants Partner
DIRECTOR

Duncan Walker

Coming from a drystock and dairy farming background, Duncan has always been passionate about growing primary sector businesses. Whether it’s drystock, dairy, forestry, horticulture, cropping, optimising land use to land capability and owners’ aspirations is Duncan’s strength. 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, environmental sustainability and pastoral farm systems, Duncan is increasingly working with clients to analyse and integrate horticulture and forestry investments into their farm businesses.

“It’s extremely rewarding helping clients navigate through the complexities of today’s financial, operational and environmental challenges. Helping clients to achieve their goals whether it be optimising profitability, sustainability, business growth or all of the above is what gets me out of bed in the morning.”

Trudy Laan - Partner at Perrin Ag Cunsultants
DIRECTOR

Trudy Laan

Trudy graduated from Massey with an Honours degree in Agricultural Science. Since then she has been involved in practical farming on her own account and worked as a senior tutor in agriculture. She has also been a national examiner for NZQA farm business. Joining Perrin Ag in May 2002, Trudy works as a farm consultant in all areas of farming, specialising in dairying, corporate supervision, land use conversion and staff recruitment.

Trudy brings significant experience in dairy farm systems and management, along with a real passion for lifting productivity and achieving her clients’ aspirations.

“My philosophy has always been that you spend so much of your life working, that you should work at something you are passionate about and would love to do even if you were not getting paid. Having been brought up on a dairy farm where we were actively involved, I have always loved cows. I also enjoy the privilege of being trusted to assist farmers and the long term relationships we have with both staff and owners in the role as farm supervisors.”

Peter Keeling - Senior Consultant at Perrin Ag
Principal Consultant

Peter Keeling

Peter grew up on a drystock, deer & dairy property in the Horowhenua area. Before joining the Perrin Ag team in 2017 Peter was Supply Chain Manager for Firstlight Foods Ltd where he led the livestock team managing the Venison and Wagyu Producer Groups. Prior to that Peter had 20 years’ experience as an Agricultural Consultant based in Te Kuiti, where he is still based, working with predominantly sheep and beef clients.

Peter has a real focus on delivering achievable change that has meaningful results, assisting their farm businesses and teams meet their goals, under the economic and environmental challenges that are present in the industry. Peter enjoys farming his 56 ha farm, playing tennis, water skiing and mountain biking with his family in his spare time.

“I just enjoy getting out to some great but often unseen areas of rural NZ to work with clients. Helping family and corporate teams meet challenges and achieve targets at both personal and business levels is motivating and rewarding.”

John Perrin - Chairman of Perrin Ag Consultants Ltd
CHAIRMAN

John Perrin

John has been in business as a Registered Farm Management Consultant and previously as a registered valuer for over 35 years. Most of his experience has centred around land development and farm supervision along with international consultancy in large scale farming operations.

New Zealnd farm supervision has largely centred around management and consultancy for Māori authorities and other absentee owners. Since the mid 1990’s John has been predominantly involved in the design and direct management of dairy conversion projects both in New Zealand and overseas, most latterly having had oversight for a new sheep dairy development at Waikino Station. These days John is focussed on his role as Chairman of Perrin Ag.

“In becoming involved in agriculture I was driven to help farmers and their managers maximise production and profitability from their land. Today farming is a very much more complex business and being involved in a rapidly growing advisory practice at a governance level and providing an environment where ambitious advisors and their clients achieve their joint goals and aspirations, gives me great pleasure.”

Julie Rickman - Independent Director
Independent Director

Julie Rickman

Born and bred on a dairy farm in the Waikato, Julie has over 30 years business experience, spread across both the commercial sector and chartered accounting. She worked for small and multi-national accounting firms before joining Beattie Rickman in Hamilton where she became a partner and then Managing Partner. Julie was responsible for the merger of Beattie Rickman into PwC in 2006 and was Managing Partner of PwC Waikato until she moved to PwC Otago in 2011.

She has recently resigned from her role as Executive Director Finance, Procurement & Facilities at Southern DHB and is now focusing her skills and experience on her directorship roles. In addition to Perrin Ag, she is a director of Barr, Burgess & Stewart Limited – an advisory and accounting services firm based in Dunedin. Julie is currently in the process of moving to Wanaka from Dunedin, where she has lived for the past ten years.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change”
– Charles Darwin

Advisory Team

John Stantiall - Senior Consultant at Perrin Ag
SENIOR CONSULTANT

John Stantiall

John, based in Palmerston North, provides one-on-one advisory services to sheep, beef and deer clients as well as specialising in group facilitation and learning. He facilitates a number of farmer discussion groups in lower and central North Island. John is well known for facilitating extension programmes such as monitor farms and RMPP funded groups.

John assists clients as part of their “management team” with issues such as benchmarking, business reviews, strategic and tactical planning, financial and feed budgeting. He facilitates a one-day workshop on feed budgeting when there is demand and this is a spreadsheet-based feed budget which participants set up at the workshop and keep for their on-going use. John is very familiar with software modelling tools such as Farmax and Overseer to get the greatest benefit for clients.

“I am passionate about pastoral farming and rural people, I enjoy working with farmers and the technological and business challenges they face. I especially enjoy helping people learn. Seeing clients and staff develop confidence and achieve improved farm performance from the knowledge and skills they gain is very rewarding.”

Carla Muller - Senior Consultant at Perrin Ag
SENIOR CONSULTANT

Carla Muller

Carla is an agricultural economist who joined Perrin Ag in 2019 following jobs with both DairyNZ and NIWA. She specialises in analysing the impact of policy and regulatory changes on farm systems and has worked around the country on regional and national policy development. Carla has worked on a range of projects from marginal decision making, irrigation research, climate change adaptation, economic impacts of water policies, biosecurity and the use of economic instruments such as taxes and trading.  Carla has both an Applied Economics degree and a Masters in Environmental Management, from Massey University.

Carla also holds governance roles within the primary sector, including as current president of NZIPIM and with the Transitional PrimaryITO board. 

“I’m passionate about a prosperous NZ built on a strong economy and a thriving environment. I enjoy contributing to this by supporting agribusinesses across the NZ food and fibre sector to balance and achieve both economic and environmental outcomes. I enjoy working with people to understand and solve problems and try new ideas.”

Rachael Mitchell - Senior Consultant at Perrin Ag
SENIOR CONSULTANT

Rachael Mitchell

Rachael emigrated from the UK in 1998, having been brought up rurally in Devon. Prior to joining the Perrin Ag team in 2014 she either jointly owned or worked on three different dry stock properties, winning two Ballance Farm Environment Awards for nutrient management and habitat creation in the process.

Rachael is one of the few independent Certified Nutrient Management Advisers in the region. Her attention to detail and passion for her clients sees her in demand with farmers wanting to establish their current environmental footprints, implement sustainable land use change or understand compliance requirements. In her spare time Rachael enjoys walking, swimming and photography.

“Having farmed in NZ since the late 90’s I have a real passion for the industry. Farming under a nitrogen cap in Lake Taupō has also given me a great insight into the challenges of farming within nutrient limits. I am passionate about helping other farmers better understand their systems in the environmental conditions they now find themselves farming in.”

Alastair MacCormick - Senior Consultant at Perrin Ag
SENIOR CONSULTANT

Alastair MacCormick

Following University, Alastair travelled and worked extensively through Africa before taking up agricultural flying in Australia. After 10 years dodging trees, power lines and the odd cattle beast in the exhaustive heat of the Australian outback, he returned to New Zealand and took a role with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Unwittingly entering the early stages of the water quality conundrum, Alastair spent the next 12 years working between science, policy and implementation, striving to find innovative solutions that enabled farming within environmental constraints. Alastair joined Perrin Ag in 2018 and works across the water quality space which ranges from the grass roots level with farmers wanting to continue to improve the environmental outcomes from their properties, through to how government can actually implement policy frameworks.

When he isn’t working Alastair enjoys renovating, boating and adventures with his wife and daughters.

“I enjoy working with farmers and feel for them during this time of rapid and difficult change. I believe that change is inevitable and necessary but strive to ensure it occurs in a manageable and intelligent way.”

Dwayne Cowin - Senior Consultant Perrin Ag Consultants
SENIOR CONSULTANT

Dwayne Cowin

After graduating from Massey University in 2007 Dwayne embarked on a career in the sheep and beef industry. Following shepherding and a sole charge stock management role, Dwayne moved onto a livestock operations manager role at Lochinver Station. In 2015, Dwayne and his wife Zara entered into an equity partnership on a 420 ha sheep and beef farm located in Piopio, King Country. Dwayne and Zara still actively manage this property and live there with their young family.

Dwayne joined Perrin Ag in 2019 and specialises in all aspects of sheep and beef farming. Aside from farming, Dwayne’s interests include rugby, hunting, fishing and water-skiing.

“I have a passion for seeing farms develop and progress, and also enjoy being able to see the people involved demonstrate the ability to lift both productivity and profitability, without compromising their environmental footprint. We are all only caretakers of the land, and it gives me great satisfaction seeing so many farmers leaving the farm in a better state than when they started.”

Liz Dooley - Senior Consultant at Perrin Ag
SENIOR CONSULTANT (RESEARCH)

Liz Dooley

Liz joined Perrin Ag late 2018. Based in Palmerston North, Liz spearheads much of the applied research that the firm is increasingly delivering for clients across the value chain. Seeking research opportunities is part of her role. Interests include farm systems diversification options and agri-tech which she is exploring with others.

Liz has a PhD in Agricultural Systems and Management and has held researcher/scientist roles in farm management and agribusiness since 2002. Previously working for AgResearch and Massey University (Centre of Excellence in Farm Business Management), research areas have included: future farming systems; farm ownership, management and succession, value chain modelling, multi-criteria decision making, risk and resilience and farm tools (technology). Prior to her post-graduate studies, Liz worked for Landcorp’s Genetics Unit and for Animplan/NZABT.

“I am passionate about working on new ideas and new ways of doing things to positively contribute to NZ farming. As a Researcher, I enjoy working across a range of subject areas, exploring new systems, technologies and value chains, and interacting with the younger generation who are the future of our industry.”

Vance Fulton - Senior Consultant Perrin Ag Consultants
SENIOR CONSULTANT

Vance Fulton

Vance was brought up on a dairy farm just south of Whangarei. He graduated from Waikato University with a Master of Science (Earth Science) degree in 1992. After working as an engineering geologist in Auckland, he moved to the Northern Territory in Australia to work as a senior land management officer specialising in erosion and sediment control.

Returning to NZ in 2003 Vance settled in Papamoa where he worked for the BOP Regional Council in Rotorua helping farmers to reduce their impact on the Rotorua Lakes. In late 2005 he set up his own business providing agricultural environmental services specialising in Overseer modelling. He is a Certified Nutrient Management Advisor and joined the Perrin Ag team as an Environmental Consultant in 2016.

“Being brought up on a small Northland dairy farm, my heart has always been with the land and its people. I enjoy working with and getting to know farmers and helping them to minimise their environmental footprint whilst maintaining economic productivity.”

Rachel Durie - Consultant at Perrin Ag
CONSULTANT

Rachel Durie

Rachel graduated from Lincoln University with an Honours degree in Agricultural Science. Seeking a position where she could apply her knowledge in a varied role, Rachel joined Perrin Ag in 2019. Based in the South Waikato, Rachel combines her excellent observation skills with exceptional analysis, resulting in a wide range of work. Rachel works actively with farm managers to implement the strategic farm and business plan, as part of her dairy supervisory work, to land use change analysis including recent research on incorporating forestry and trees into pastoral farm businesses, to environmental support and Overseer modelling.

Outside of Perrin Ag, Rachel and her partner Mania are busy setting up their own contract milking business, and in her spare time, Rachel enjoys getting outdoors playing soccer, hunting or fishing.

“I enjoy the opportunity to assist clients in finding practical solutions to the diverse range of challenges the agriculture sector presents. Being able to see the benefits to a client’s business from problem solving is hugely rewarding.”

Braydon Schroder - Consultant at Perrin Ag
CONSULTANT

Braydon Schroder

Braydon was born and bred on a dairy farm in the Tararua district with a passion for animals and agribusiness from day dot. He has toured and worked on various farm systems in North America, South America and Australia through self-chosen work experience or various scholarships. In his spare time he investigates the latest dairy genetics internationally to help with breeding decisions for his dairy herd, along with judging and fitting dairy cattle both nationally and overseas.

Braydon, who joined the team in January 2019, is based out of our Rotorua office, where he manages a diverse workload ranging from facilitating RMPP Farmer Action groups, operational supervision for dairy farms, alongside land use, systems, financial and environmental modelling and analysis advisory for corporate and family farm operations.

“I really value the opportunity to help farmers translate the enormous amount of information out there, to ensure they can make more informed decisions. It’s a privilege being able to help people and their businesses succeed and grow in the agriculture sector.”

Daniel Payton Perrin Ag Consultants
Senior CONSULTANT

Daniel Payton

Daniel grew up on a dairy farm in Marlborough and after graduating from Lincoln began a career with Landcorp Farming Ltd. As Business Manager he was responsible for large scale hill country sheep, beef and deer properties with his role including developing and implementing regional livestock strategies. This provided valuable experience and exposure to large scale corporate agribusiness.

After travelling overseas Daniel experienced rural finance, servicing a wide variety of clients and business structures including family operated farms and multinational wineries.
Prior to joining Perrin Ag, Daniel and family spent eight years in the dairy industry hands on contract and lower order sharemilking in the Taranaki region. This valuable time and the experience of operating his own business gives Daniel the ability to have a real affinity with all types of clients.

“From a young age I have lived and breathed agriculture and had a deep connection with the land. I enjoy not only offering solutions for clients to achieve their business goals but also the human element that is building relationships and enabling people to grow in their business”.

Mark Williams - Senior Consultant Perrin Ag Consultants
Senior Consultant

Mark Williams

Mark was brought up on a dairy farm in Northland and after high school gained a BSc in Resource and Environmental Planning from Waikato University. He worked as a geotechnical field tech for 2 years before going to Lincoln for a Graduate Diploma in Agricommerce. Working for the now DairyNZ in North Waikato and Central Plateau areas, Mark subsequently moved to a VOSM position prior to sharemilking in Canterbury and buying a small dairy farm of 400 cows near Mayfield. After a serious back injury Mark again worked for DairyNZ before becoming a rural bank manager in Ashburton.

In 2015 the family returned north, becoming equity partners and contract milkers on an 800 cow farm between Tauranga and Rotorua. Whilst Mark remains a shareholder in the farm, he joined Perrin Ag in 2021 for the next challenge.

“I’m passionate about farming and farmers. Helping people achieve their goals is what spins my wheels. I am excited about the future of the agricultural sector and what farmers can achieve given the challenging future.”

Dave Whalley - Senior Consultant Perrin Ag Consultants
Senior Consultant (Horticulture)

Dave Whalley

Dave grew up in the rural Whakatāne area. His journey in commercial horticulture began in the late 70’s, when he started an orchard cadetship in Te Puke. Wanting to learn more about the broader industry, he went on to gain a Diploma in Horticulture at Lincoln University and that’s where he also met his wife Jacqui who hailed from a vegetable cropping background.

Dave has gained a wide range of experience including fruit & vegetable cropping, nursery production, landscaping and turf & ecological restoration. Dave now brings this knowledge to support Perrin Ag in a variety of projects. He has also been involved in training as well as land-owner relationship sectors.

“To me commercial horticulture is: A science, a business, an art and a lifestyle. All four of these categories are of equal weight and importance for the formula to succeed. There is always more than one option to solve a problem, to make a venture work or tweak performance. I really enjoy helping people to understand these concepts and enjoy completing great projects whatever size or duration”.

Business Services Team

Nikki Barnard - Perrin Ag
Business Manager

Nikki Barnard

Nikki has 20 years of farming experience, mainly in the dairy industry, both in NZ and overseas. This has been followed by extensive senior agri-business experience in the rural and automotive sectors, including retailing, manufacturing, sales, banking, human resources and overall business management and development.

Nikki joined the Perrin Ag team in October 2019 as Business Manager to deliver the operational management of the business and to continue to build capacity and efficiency throughout the whole business. A combination of Perrin Ag and client interaction as well as suppliers to the business, provides plenty of variety making every day different. Nikki is always looking for ways to support the advisory team or make the business function more efficiently. In her spare time Nikki can be found on a motorbike or a road cycle or relaxing on Papamoa Beach.

“Helping people be the best they can be is what drives me! To work with so many great people and as part of the agricultural industry is a massive bonus for me.”

Gayle Newman - Perrin Ag
Finance and Client Services Manager

Gayle Newman

Gayle was brought up on a sheep station in Masterton and spent childhood holidays on the family dairy farm in Dannevirke. Her family moved to Kaitaia before eventually settling in Rotorua. Gayle’s previous professional background is hotel management and tourism. Gayle now manages Perrin Ag finances and our Client Services team, which sees her successfully dealing with the less-sexy but critically important behind the scenes functions of our business and farm businesses in relation to data management, payroll, health and safety and digital information systems.

Gayle is a keen mountain biker and spends a lot of her spare time on Rotorua’s world class trails.

“In my role as Finance and Client Services Manager, I can live in Rotorua and enjoy (on a daily basis if I could) the Redwood Forest and the mountain bike trails. I love working closely with our farm mangers and the diversity my role offers, and being able to support the managers and hopefully make some of those admin tasks a bit more bearable.”

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