Your local: Why local Banker empowerment matters


Our rurally based agribusiness bankers are driven to support primary sector businesses to operate efficiently and sustainably. Rowen Waterworth, BNZ’s Client Director – Corporate Agribusiness shares how BNZ’s agribusiness bankers based throughout New Zealand offer tailored banking solutions to suit the individual needs of New Zealand farmers and growers.

As part of the 5th generation of a farming family, now based on the Central Plateau, I know that people who provide you with advice on your business need to come to your farm to really understand how it operates. It’s often a challenge to get off the farm or orchard to work on the business rather than in it. At BNZ we’ve designed an agribusiness service with this understanding of life on the land in mind. Our agribusiness bankers come to you, and work with you to understand the local conditions you are operating in. They work hard to give you quick decisions, with BNZ ensuring they have the skills and empowerment to do just that.

Our local agribusiness bankers make banking decisions at your place

Pressures such as new freshwater frameworks and cost inflation can put you and your agricultural business under strain. It’s vital to build adaptability and resilience into your business to deal with these challenges and to find the opportunities in change. Our agribusiness bankers work with you to create affordable long-term banking solutions to ensure the sustainability of your business throughout changing seasons, multi-year cycles, or as your farm or orchard changes hands to the next generation. They have delegated authority to make decisions on lending while at your place. This means, in many cases, you know the person making the decision and the process they go through to reach it because they are there with you. If you need to meet a finance deadline or you want to be in a position to go to market with an offer quickly, our agribusiness bankers are there to make those decisions to support you to do that.

We sit at the table with you

Katie Moffatt is one of our agribusiness bankers working with farmers and growers in Southland. One of Katie’s customers is Bob Shaw, a dairy farmer at Mataura Island. Bob runs a 136-hectare farm and values the ability to work directly with the decision maker of his banking needs. Bob says he really appreciates knowing Katie is the one “sitting at our kitchen table also making the decision about us and our business.”

Farming and growing is about sustaining your personal wellbeing as well as the environment you’re working in. It can be very easy to feel isolated working in remote areas on the land. That’s why our agribusiness bankers are also here to connect you with services in the community that can help you through the tough times, such as local groups, accountants, consultants, or farm advisors.

A better future, together

In New Zealand we’re very efficient farmers and growers. We are already very sustainable farmers. And we have got a very strong value proposition in the terms of the way that we do things. Today, what makes us unique and what will continue to make us unique going forward, is our ability to adapt and our policy to use changing market and global conditions to continue to position ourselves really effectively in the market.

If I could give you one top tip it for the financial sustainability and future of your farm it would be this: know your numbers. Take the time to understand the financial position of your business. When you have questions, get advisors around you whether that’s your lawyer or accountant or a neighbour who can help you to understand how to take your business forward. When it comes to agribusiness banking, we’ll come to you. We care and we’re here to help.

Any views expressed in this article are the personal views of Rowen Waterworth and do not necessarily represent the views of BNZ, or its related entities. This article is solely for information purposes and is not intended to be financial advice. If you need help, please contact BNZ or your financial adviser. Neither BNZ nor any person involved in this article accepts any liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage arising out of the use of, or reliance on, all or any part of the content.

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