DINZ news in brief | Issue 97

Apr 20, 2023

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DINZ working on changes to lead a confident industry

As you know, DINZ has mapped out a new five-year strategy which sees our focus shift to leading a confident industry into the future.

“We are using the feedback from deer farmers and the wider industry to work through the new implementation plans for the ‘Thriving With Passion’ industry vision,” says DINZ chief executive Innes Moffat.

“We know that confidence in some parts of the sector is lacking at the moment. Market conditions are improving but we need to see a path to higher future profit for venison before we get reinvestment.

“DINZ cannot set the price being paid to farmers, but we can influence the participants to encourage more confidence. ‘Confidence’ for the sector comes from profitability, certainty and having a good reputation.

“As part of this we are reviewing its structure and the focus on those services which will underpin the strategic goals.  This includes a proposal to reconfigure resources to meet the opportunities which the industry has to grow the sector for our farmers, levy payers and service providers.” 

Whilst the review process is still underway, further updates can be expected on how DINZ plans to progress these changes over the next coming weeks.

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Waiting on a Government HWEN decision

With no announcement yet on the Government's preferred approach DINZ chair, Mandy Bell, has reiterated DINZ’s position on the agricultural emissions pricing process (He Waka Eke Noa) which aims to keep farmers out of the Emissions Trading Scheme. “Firstly it is important to say our priority is and will continue to be to stand up for the best interests of our farmers and levy payers,” she says.

“We recognise that agriculture needs to play its part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However DINZ has three very clear requirements.  Transition assistance needs to be in place to ensure ongoing business viability, gases should only be priced when cost effective and feasible mitigations are available and that on-farm sequestration is confirmed.”

DINZ has worked closely with B&LNZ and supports its request for a deferral of pricing until outstanding issues are resolved.

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Weaner transport reminder

Did weaning go well? Thinking about the post-rut weaning coming up, or what you could do differently next year? Weaning is stressful for both hind and fawn, and a useful Deer Fact is available online, for those wanting expert advice on how to do it well.

Transport is also a stressful event for deer, particularly around weaning. This is why the DeerQA Transport Standards only allow the transport of deer at weaning from farm to farm, and with a maximum duration of six hours, including yarding.

The standards also recommend that all deer should be weaned for at least ten days before being transported. This is to allow them to get used to being without their mothers, before having to cope with the additional stress of transport.

If deer are transported less than ten days after weaning, then they cannot be moved on the same unit as their mothers, or sent to auction or saleyards. This is due to the additional stress that is involved, which increases the risk of poor animal welfare.

If you are transporting deer around weaning, please follow best practice and do everything you can to minimise stress to the animals, before, during and after the journey.

Read ‘Best practice weaning management’ factsheet >>

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Link to B+LNZ campaign

Beef + Lamb New Zealand and 50 Shades of Green are campaigning to raise awareness about the effect of the Government’s policies on sheep and beef farmers. Many of the issues raised in the campaign also impact deer farmers.

The Kiwis Backing Farmers campaign highlights the wave of policies and proposals threatening the future of sheep, beef and deer farms and rural communities across the country. It asks for new rules, such as the biodiversity National Policy Standard, to be paused and for the Government to work with the sector on fixing existing ones like putting limits on forestry offsetting in the emissions trading scheme.

At the heart of the campaign is the website, which outlines simple policy solutions and enables Kiwis to show their support for sheep and beef farmers by sending their views directly to the Government.

Farmers are visiting the website and writing to Ministers and MPs asking for policy changes, by completing the template email and sharing the campaign with staff, family and friends.

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New technical guidance for winter grazing

New technical advice for winter grazing has been made available online by the Ministry for the Environment (MfE).

The guidance aims to help those managing intensive winter grazing (IWG), including deer farmers, to make practices consistent with the Resource Management National Environmental Standards for Freshwater Regulations 2020 (NES-F).

IWG refers to grazing livestock on an annual forage crop – including kale, fodder beet and swedes – at any time between 1 May to 30 September of the same year.

Pugging, ground cover and critical source areas are covered in the MfE’s advice, which also includes evidence-based recommendations for farmers on what to do to reduce the environmental impacts of IWG and to help clarify what the regulations require.

Primarily aimed at people and organisations providing technical oversight and monitoring of IWG activities, such as councils, planners and farm advisors, the guidance will also be of interest to deer farmers and land managers.

The guidance can also be used with MPI’s IWG module – a condensed farmer planning tool – giving farmers a ‘plan, do, check and review’ framework to support good IWG practice.

DINZ manager farm performance Phil McKenzie says DINZ is happy to help with queries and/or run wintering workshops groups, for those groups that want them, in collaboration with Beef + Lamb New Zealand. To discuss, contact or phone 027-499 7809.

Read more about MfE’s guidance for intensive winter grazing >>

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Post-cyclone recovery continues

Recovery efforts following Cyclone Gabrielle continue on New Zealand’s North Island.
Government approved a $23 million boost earlier this month to cyclone recovery grants for farmers and growers to “help rural communities get back on their feet as quickly as possible,” said griculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

Venison Packers Feilding helping out with fencing. Photo: Henry Gaddum.

Applications for the clean-up grants closed on 20 March with those in hard-to-reach areas having until 3 April to apply. That round attracted 6,000 applications and a payout of $37 million to farmers and growers. The extra grant funding will enable the honouring of all eligible applications received.

It will bring the total primary sector cyclone recovery support to $78 million, the Minister noted.
MPI has produced new factsheets about the delivery of critical farm supplies to isolated cyclone-affected farming communities in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.

Another new factsheet focuses on the risks associated with contaminated animal feed post flood and there has been an update to the ‘General Hawke’s Bay recovery factsheet’.

These add to factsheets relating to the movement of livestock in the State Highway 2 area north of Tanoio Marae and south of Waikare Gorge and also in Puketitri, Puketapu, Pātoka, Rissington and Dartmoor. Another focuses on advice for mustering and droving stock after Cyclone Gabrielle.

Read more about MfE’s guidance for intensive winter grazing >>

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Hawke’s Bay event to focus on ‘Farming for a successful future’

Farm efficiency and profitability have never been more important, says the organisers of a one-day event in May focusing on ‘Farming for a Successful Future’ and in support of Rural Support East Coast.

Ginny Dodunski is one of the speakers at the sustainable farming event.

DINZ is one of the main sponsors for the sustainable farming event to help farmers navigate increasing environmental regulation and consumer demands. It will be held at the Elwood Function Centre in Hastings on Wednesday 17 May.

Those attending the event will hear from: Ginny Dodunski (a solid foundation beats a silver bullet); Dr Gordon Rajendram (soil fertility, soil nutrients and their fate); Barrie Ridler (If you get the economics right, the environment will follow); associate professor Anne Riddler (ewe wastage in NZ); Dr Lucy Waldron (feeding ruminants to reduce emissions), and Dr Alison Dewes (Getting fit for the future).

Tickets cost $45 each – including lunch and afternoon tea – and are available here >>

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Vote for your favourite photo from the MSD/Allflex Deer Industry photo competition!

DINZ has received 78 photos for the 2023 MSD/Allflex Animal Health Deer Industry Photographic Awards and they’re all fabulous!! 

Judging is underway and the winners in various categories will be announced at the awards dinner on 10 May.

The final category is the People's Choice Award where there will be only one winner which is chosen by the wider industry. eNews readers can vote for their favourite and vote here – but do it before Friday 5 May at 12.00pm. Note: only one vote is allowed per email address.

Click here to view the entrants’ gallery >>
Click here to vote >>

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Recipe: Lemongrass venison steak and avocado summer rolls

Before the warm weather disappears, try this light, refreshing and satisfying Thai-inspired early autumn dinner option featuring fragrant lemongrass and creamy avocado from from

Lemongrass venison steak and avocado summer rolls only take 33 minutes from woah to go on the plate. Enjoy with a punchy dipping sauce.

Get the recipe >>

Follow’s  step-by-step video guide >>

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Food for Thought, 2023 Deer Industry Conference Ashburton 10-11 May

Registration is now open for this year’s Deer Industry Conference, hosted by the Canterbury West Coast NZDFA branch. A revised format will give delegates ‘Food for Thought’ with industry updates and a field day.

We’ve had a sneak peek at the programme, which starts at 9am on Wednesday 10 May in the Ashburton Hotel with the NZDFA AGM. The morning session starts at 10.30am with DINZ chair Mandy Bell and chief executive looking at the state of the industry, a young farmer’s vision for the future, market updates and the NZDFA chairs view.

In the afternoon, participants will take part in four concurrent workshops focusing on how to handle stress for farmers, the differences and similarities between regenerative agriculture and conventional deer farming, community engagement – “This is about what delegates would like to see in telling the deer industry story,” explains DINZ producer manager Lindsay Fung –  and science success in the deer industry.

Two guest speakers will finish off the day: Mark Adams chair of the South Canterbury Rural Trust and keynote speaker Sir Ian Taylor, founder of Animation Research Ltd.

The highlight of the programme will be the awards dinner following the close of conference business. Dinner guests will hear [drum roll …] who has won the 2023 Deer Industry Award, NZDFA’s Matushka Award for grassroots farmer and “unsung hero”, the Deer Industry Environmental Awards and the MSD/Allflex Deer Industry Photo Competition.

A field day hosted by the Canterbury West Coast branch of the NZDFA is being organised – details coming soon.

Lunch and morning and afternoon teas are included with conference registration. The dinner will cost $120ex gst per head.

Interest in sponsorship has been running hot, with Silver Fern Farms, FMG, Gallagher, Datamars, Duncan NZ, OSPRI, Wilkins Farming Co and MPI already signed up. If you’re interested to join them to support the deer industry’s premier event, contact conference organiser Melissa Bähler at or 027 664 3080.

For all other matters contact DINZ producer manager Lindsay Fung or 027-668 0141.
More about Deer Industry Conference 2023 and registration >>

Thanks to our conference sponsors

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Click on the bold links below to get more information about any of the events.

2023 Deer Industry Conference – Ashburton 10 May 2023. !!SAVE THE DATE!! Contact: Phone: 027 668 0141

Farming for a Successful Future – Elwood Function Centre, Hastings, 9.30am-4.20pm Wednesday 17 May 2023. Tickets: $45. Click here to register >>

Primary Industries Summit 2023 – Tākina, Wellington, 3/4 July 2023. Click here for more information >>

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