Noticeboard & Events | Issue 193

Oct 17, 2023


- Represent the NZDFA on the OSPRI Stakeholders Council
Primary ITO - support for farms

- Classifieds 
- MetService Outlook October 2023
- Production feature: Velvet antler growth cycle
- Joke of the Month


- SCNO 2023 Velvet & Hard Antler Competition, 24 November Timaru
- 2023 North Island Velvet Competition, Awards Night 25 November, Fielding
Environmental Award field day - Glen Dene, 1 December, Lake Hawea
- 2023/24 Stag, Hind and Wapiti Bull Sales
- 2023 41st National Velvet & Trophy Antler Competition, Awards Night 8 December 2023, Invercargill
- 2024 CK Import Export Rising Stars, 9 March 2024, Te Awamutu


Your Industry Needs You! Deer Farmer Representative sought

The New Zealand Deer Farmers Association (NZDFA) is looking for expressions of interest for a representative on the OSRI Stakeholders Council to represent the interest of NZ deer farmers. 

The Council represents livestock industry sectors across the supply chain alongside central government and regional council. The Council advises and makes recommendations to the Board on operational policy associated with OSPRI programmes and is also responsible for making recommendations to OSPRI's shareholders on appointments to the Board.  There are two deer industry representatives: One from Deer Industry New Zealand (Innes Moffat) and one from NZDFA (currently open). 

There is an honorarium to attend meetings (four times a year) and travel costs are covered. 

The ideal candidate would be someone who has a knowledge of both NAIT and TB Free operations within New Zealand.  Candidates will be interviewed by the NZDFA Executive Committee.

To apply or for more information please email

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Primary ITO - support for farms

What skills do your staff need to achieve your farm goals? Get in touch with your local @primaryito Training Adviser today to support your business success through on-job training. Visit

Primary ITO are here to support you to develop your staff and help to achieve your farm goals. Their Training Advisers will:

  • Meet with you to understand your farming business.
  • Identify what skills your farm needs to be successful.
  • Talk with your staff about their on-job training options and to develop their training plan.
  • Discuss the Government’s financial support available.
  • Support your staff with everything they need to progress and complete their qualification:
    • Dyslexia friendly resources
    • Literacy and numeracy resources
    • Mentors
    • Study nights
    • Mental Health Support. 

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Vet Student looking for placement

I’m a first year Vet Student looking for a two week placement on a deer farm over January/February 2024 or 2025. Looking for somewhere I can get stuck in and learn as much as possible. I’m happy to travel anywhere in the country for the right placement, however I am based in Levin, Manawatu. If you have anything that may be suitable please get in touch. Thanks, Grace Williamson - 022 0409 065 or

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MetService Outlook - October 2023

The hallmark of El Nino in New Zealand is a cold spring.

August ran much colder than usual, nationally, and the forecast for October is also much colder than usual. Expect a colder than average October across the country, with the exception of Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay. In those regions, monthly temperatures likely end up ‘about average’ BUT expect abnormal spring temperature swings between extreme heat during foehn warming in the westerlies, and intermittent cold blasts and even some high-country snowfalls.

This week, high pressure brings a relatively dry week. For the rest of October, a stronger than normal ridge is predicted over Northland, coupled with stormy, unsettled westerlies across the South Island. In between, stronger than usual westerlies are forecast – it looks likely to be a windier than normal October.

Rainfall is expected to be normal to above normal along the West Coast South Island, and in Southland. For regions in the northeast of both Islands, below normal rainfall is forecast (Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Taupo, Waikato, and Waitomo, also Nelson, Marlborough and Coastal Canterbury). For Gisborne and Hawkes Bay, a burst of rain this weekend is then followed by drier westerlies (e.g. normal to below normal rainfall for October as a whole). Elsewhere, near normal October rainfall is forecast.

Bottom Line: A colder and windier than usual October is forecast for many regions. In Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Nelson, Marlborough and Canterbury, expect temperatures to swing between extreme heat and some late cold blasts. A wetter than usual October for the West Coast South Island and Southland; a drier than normal October for the northeast of both Islands.

You can sign up for the MetService's Monthly Outlook right to your inbox - click here to subscribe.


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Production feature: Antler biology

Deer antlers are bony outgrowths of the skull. Deer antler tissue is nevertheless very different to the skull in both structure and composition.


Read more about the process here including:

  • The growing tip of the antler is composed of various types of cells and is covered by a layer of tissue. The lower (non-growing) regions of the growing antler are composed of further types of cells again, as shown in the following diagram.
  • Each year, antlers drop off and fully regenerate in a growth cycles.  
  • Antlers do not grow directly from deer skulls. Instead, they emanate from the top of permanent bumps on the head called pedicles.

Read more at >>

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Joke of the Month

When I was young I was poor. Now after years of hard work and struggle, I'm not that young anymore. 


What do you call a magician that's lost his magic? Ian


I was going to do a joke on construction but I'm still working on it. 

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If you have a velvet and/or hard antler competition coming up, please email with details and we will add it to the list below and the events section of the website.

Mark your calendars

SCNO 2023 Velvet & Hard Antler Competition

6.00pm Friday 24 November, Phar Lap Race Course Timaru

The South Canterbury/North Otago NZDFA Branch and velvet committee team invites you to the 33rd Annual Velvet & Hard Antler Competition.

Details and entry form to follow. For further information, contact Brad or 021 244 2265.

2023 North Island Velvet Competition

Awards dinner Saturday 25 November 2023 in Fielding. Entry forms and competition details to come soon. Contact Craig Hocken 0274 576 388 or for any enquiries.

Environmental Award field day - Glen Dene: Friday 1 December

Attend a field day to celebrate Glen Dene winning the 2023 Deer Industry Elworthy Environmental Award and the First Light Award.

Glen Dene is a 2,989 hectare high-country station on the shores of Lake Hawea. It comprises three integrated businesses: A camping ground; a sheep, beef and deer farm; and trophy hunting. It has a typical central Otago climate – hot, dry summers and cold winters and lies between 360 m above sea level on its Lake Hawea boundary, rising to 1,386 m above sea level.

Starting at 9:15am, the tour will finish with an awards ceremony and a BBQ lunch at 1.30pm.

Click here for more information >>

2023/24 Stag, Hind and Wapiti Bull Sales

Calendar of upcoming sales for December 2023 and January 2024 >> 

2023 41st National Velvet & Trophy Competition

The 2023 Awards Night has been confirmed for Friday 8th of December 2023 in Invercargill. Contact for any enquiries.

2024 CK Import Export Rising Stars

Saturday 9th March 2024 in Te Awamutu. Hosted by Waipa Branch NZDFA. Contact or 07 873 2785 for any enquiries.

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Return to DFA Stagline Issue 193 summary >>

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