Farming in Australia
"That gave me enough money to buy 2300 ha in Australia. The goal there was to build enough equity to come back and buy a high-country property," he said.
However, one of Australia's worst droughts occurred during the time Lachie and his family lived there, causing him to have to destock and get other work outside farming.
After five years, and eroding equity, he sold up and returned to New Zealand.
"Even though it was a real struggle, we still enjoyed the experience. We bordered a national park and wildlife in the area was quite significant.
"It was just tough financially and tough trying to build equity which was the purpose of going there. Instead it was just like going on an expensive holiday.
On returning to Dunedin, Lachie's interest in e-commerce led him to study part-time towards a Bachelor of Information Technology degree while looking after his children.
"I could see the potential in e-commerce around the world. So much business is done in e-commerce and I was looking at it as another avenue for income to still buy a high-country station," he says.
However, with Tenure Review, which came in in the late 1990s, and allowed high country properties to be privatised for use, Lachie's dream became that much more difficult.
New beginnings as a land management advisor
When Lachie and his wife moved to Canterbury four years ago, he had hoped to get a manager’s position on a high-country station.
"But I found that at my age, it's not that easy to get," he admits.
"I said in my interview, I don’t want to spend my time having disputes with farmers, I want to help them, and that's the appeal of the role, that it's about helping farmers to take action and do what they need to do to comply with the rules.
Lachie is working specifically with farmers in Ashburton District, Kaituna Valley and the area around Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere.
The most interesting experience so far is meeting people through the Leeston drop-in sessions.
“It’s been interesting to have people coming in and hearing their different stories as well as helping them understand what they need to do to comply with the rules,” Lachie says.
"I love the one on one contact and I don't mind cold calling to go and see the farmers- that comes from my real estate background."
The flexibility of the job also means Lachie's got more time to pursue his other love- multisport.
He recently competed in the Motatapu Marathon, achieving 44th position out of 450 competitors.