Understanding rural decision making : a case study of land preservation in Canterbury
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
The aim of this thesis is to clarify how the rural decision making process operates in New Zealand. This will be achieved by investigating the formal legislative restraints that land users have to adhere to and by examining the informal links that exist between the rural institutions and the land managers (eg financial, consultancy links). To investigate these formal and informal links it has been necessary to study a major land use issue. The issue selected for the study was land preservation. By using land preservation it has been possible to demonstrate how Government agencies are able to compel land users to adopt environmental land use guidelines and how private institutions are able to use negotiation to get land users to accept their land management advice. The research has found that New Zealand has a complex rural decision making framework. Unlike many overseas countries the Government can not simply impose new land use guidelines. Government agencies have to negotiate with land users before they attempt to introduce new land preservation/land management practices. The research has also revealed that private institutions play a key role in rural decision making. They have this role as a result of the consultancy services they provide to the rural sector.