Options for Rural Investment

Novel financing solutions for supporting land use change.

Perrin Ag is collaborating on a project which 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 them overcome barriers to land diversification by funding land use and capital-intensive land management changes. This project investigates solutions to help make this happen.

Diverse ideas are being captured in workshops with participants from a wide range of backgrounds. These ideas will then be assessed against case studies and an evaluation criterion to identify what options could benefit from further research, development and support.

The research aims to provide a line of sight between the obstacles to land-use change and financing solutions that could overcome them. Case studies will demonstrate how financing options may be utilised, and their potential impacts. One of the case studies will consider challenges, opportunities, and potential financing solutions from the perspective of whenua Māori landowners and managers.

How Can the Research Be Used?

The goal of this project is to help farmers and other land stewards identify and pursue innovative financing options to support informed land-use change decisions, with a view to improving environmental and economic outcomes on New Zealand’s whenua.

The investment sector can draw on this research when developing new models of investment in land use change, to include greater flexibility, identify risk factors, and ensure that potential financing options are suitable for whenua Māori owners and land management entities.

This research will support planners within regional councils and in central government to consider how financing may support or hinder regulatory responses

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

The work is being 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.

The project is expected to be completed by June 2023.

Lee Matheson

Managing Director / Principal Consulant

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.”