Options for Rural Investment

Perrin Ag has collaborated on a project that will help landowners find alternative ways to fund land use changes as they look to future proof their businesses.

New Zealand farmers are being prompted to diversify their farm systems to make sure their businesses are resilient to the changing climate and extreme weather events, to meet environmental expectations and regulations, and to diversify their income streams.

Bank funding isn’t always an option. Some landowners need new and innovative financing solutions to help fund land use and capital-intensive land management changes. This project investigated potential solutions.

The year-long study evaluated 17 different funding models to support land-use change.

Researchers ran a series of workshops with farmers, industry leaders and experts to understand the obstacles to land-use change and financing solutions that could help overcome them.

Funding models assessed by the research team ranged from traditional debt financing and private investment to creating a market for biodiversity credits.

You can read the full report here or view an infographic summary of the research findings.

How will the research be used?

Central Government
Actions for Central Government include: 1) Considering building a biodiversity credit market; 2) Matching up funding and those needing funding; 3) The role of Government grants in high-risk novel projects; 4) The impact of regulation, such as that governing money lending.
Rural Professionals

Rural professionals should continue to build awareness of funding options amongst their farmers.


Farmers who are struggling to finance land use change should consider how these options could work for their businesses.

Whenua Māori

Whenua Māori face additional barriers due to complexities of ownership. New solutions, including legislative changes, are likely to be required for this land use change.

The project is funded by Our Land and Water National Science Challenge.

The work was carried out by Perrin Ag’s Carla Muller and Rob Brazendale in collaboration with Dr Parehau Richards and Kiriwaitingi Rei from GHA Chartered Accountants and Management Consultants.

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.”