Comparing apples with oranges using new Sustainable Farming Fund tool
22 September 2014
Māori agribusiness will benefit from a new tool that can be used to compare the potential benefits of different land
uses from an economic and social perspective.
The Social Return on Investment evaluation tool was developed as part of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI’s)
Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) Maori Agribusiness round held in 2012. It was co-developed by Aohanga Incorporation and
AgResearch and aimed to produce a method to compare various development options for Māori Trusts and Incorporations with
“With multiple shareholders, it can be difficult to achieve consensus on the best options for Māori owned land,” says
MPI’s Deputy Director General Ben Dalton.
“This tool will integrate social, environmental and cultural values into the decision making process, enabling better
governance decisions, transparency and a well-defined communication framework for shareholders.
“Another benefit of this one year SFF Māori Agribusiness project is that the model is flexible, as all data can be
modified to compare other options not presently built in,” says Mr Dalton.
“This SFF project has been a first step in an attempt to tackle the hard task of getting a common measure, where we can
hand on heart say these sometimes competing imperatives have been quantified and assessed and the analysis has informed
our decision to act,” says Project Manager Mavis Mullins.
“Sometimes it can feel like comparing apples, oranges, kiwifruit and grapes. They are all good individually, but this
tool means we can now measure and compare the investment value for each of these.
“It was great to have MPI and AgResearch attend our AGM out at the station, which we consider to be quite remote. It was
particularly warming to have our Mexican whanaunga from AgResearch noho with us and to have that global indigenous
engagement,” says Mrs Mullins.