She says it makes a big difference and greatly reduces the cost of buying seedlings, especially when you’re planting thousands of trees.
Every expense adds up, and the Potters admit that even with careful management their first few years at Waipapa - when they faced droughts and price fluctuations - were financially tough.
“We’ve always been pretty disciplined in terms of our finances - sometimes that involves not biting off more than you can chew,” Evan said. “It’s just a matter of dealing with what you can, making good plans and decisions, and having a good group of people around you.
“While an environmental spend needs to be flexible, and not compromise financial profitability, we see it as a fixed business expense - not discretionary. It could cover any activity, like earthworks, water, fencing - there are no rules.”
The couple are thankful to those who have helped them over the years, whether that be with skills, advice or cash flow.
ANZ has helped to finance the Potters over the years, and Evan said the most important thing a bank can do for a farmer is to take the time to understand their business.
He said at one point he felt the bank only served one purpose - giving out loans - but now he considers his Relationship Manager “a vital part of the business”.
ANZ Managing Director Business Lorraine Mapu applauded the Potters’ approach, and their challenge to other farmers.