Noticeboard & Events | Issue 195

Dec 14, 2023


- Season's Greetings from the DINZ Producer Management Team
- 2024 Deer Industry Conference and Awards
- New rural wellbeing project launches – ‘Checking-in’
- Safer Farms' urgent plea to rural communities after spike in quad bike fatalities
- Classifieds

Production feature: Deer Select: the importance of genetic improvement  
- MetService Outlook December 2023
- Joke of the Month


- 2023/24 Stag, Hind and Wapiti Bull Sales
Complex hard antler measuring workshop, 19 December 2024, South Canterbury
2024 EWSNZ Velvet Competition, 2/3 February 2024, Cromwell 
Reimagining a low emissions future: workshops in Northland and Southland
- CK Import Export Rising Stars, 9 March 2024, Te Awamutu


Season's Greetings from the DINZ Producer Management Team 🦌🎄🌟

Wishing you all a restful and enjoyable Christmas and New Year and a thriving and profitable 2024! Lindsay and Cenwynn

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2024 Deer Industry Conference and Awards

Plan a trip to the Hawke's Bay for the 2024 Deer Industry Conference and Awards. The conference will be held on the 8/9 of May in Napier and consist of a mixture of workshops and presentations. This will be followed by a dinner that includes presentations to winners of the Deer Industry Award, Matuschka Award and Photo Competition. Keep an eye on the website and future issues of the DFA Stagline for further details and registration links as they are confirmed.  

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New rural wellbeing project launches – ‘Checking-in’

A newly launched collaborative rural wellbeing recovery project, ‘Checking-in’ will help rural communities across the North Island to come together through a series of in-person events and programmes this summer.

Headlining the project is a series of community get-togethers, events and personal development programmes across the North Island, including AWDT YOU Matter programmes, Rural Women NZ supporting community Christmas events, Farmstrong Comedy events and more.

Rural people across New Zealand are also invited to subscribe to the ‘Checking-in’ tools & tips email series. Delivered weekly, the 15-part series of short videos is about making the hard stuff manageable - like supporting young people through challenging times, managing emotions and enjoying the good times. The series features rural leaders and resiliency experts:

  • Sandra Matthews (a Tairāwhiti sheep & beef farmer and community leader)
  • Steve Kearney (Chief Mental Health Officer for the NZ Defence Force)
  • Michelle Ruddell (Ngati Tūwharetoa, dairy farmer and Chair of the Northland Rural Support Trust)
  • Dr Lucy Hone (Director of the NZ Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience).

‘Checking-in’ is run by the Agri-Women’s Development Trust, Rural Women New Zealand and Farmstrong, with support from the Rural Support Trust. The project is funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries as part of the NIWE (North Island Weather Event) response.

Rural people can find local events and sign-up for a tools & tips email series at

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Safer Farms' urgent plea to rural communities after spike in quad bike fatalities

Safer Farms’ urgent plea after three quad bike fatalities: “Stop. We cannot lose any more family members.”

Farmers are being urged to look at how they can reduce the risk of quad bike fatalities after three deaths involving quad bikes in just over a week.

Lindy Nelson, chair of Safer Farms, the sector-led organisation dedicated to designing harm out of farming for good, says three families will have an empty seat at the dinner table this Christmas.

“We’re pleading with the community and the sector to stop and take stock of their farm vehicles. We’re calling on farmers, their families and their communities to stop this Christmas and ask: “how am I con-trolling the risk of a quad bike fatality on my farm?”

In the 19 months from January 2022-July 2023, there were 11 fatalities on farms involving four wheel motor bikes. WorkSafe data shows the majority of fatalities on farms are vehicle-related.

"We need fit-for-purpose farm vehicles that ensure our farmers come home safe every day. We need vehicles that allow our farmers to fail safely. If we put the same amount of energy into farm vehicles that we do into developing state-of-art safety features in our road vehicles, we can save some lives.”

Earlier this year, Safer Farms launched the Half Arsed Stops Here campaign which saw the farming sector come together and accept that it can no longer be complacent about safety on farms. The Farm Without Harm strategy is a new way of designing risk out of the system underpinned by the vision ‘everyday farming people protect one another from preventable harm’.

“We have an action plan in place to work together to solve complexities of harm on farm, and there has been so much work done around preventable vehicle harm,” said Nelson.

“But lives are still being lost and families devastated. Our farming community is hurting. It is in our DNA to protect one another - this Christmas we must make that happen.”

Safer Farms is calling on all farmers to stop and discuss:

  • whether this could happen to you
  • what would it mean to your family?
  • One action you can take to reduce the risk (chances) of a quad bike accident happening on your farm or with your people

Resources and support materials are available at

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Production feature: Deer Select: the importance of genetic improvement

Genetic improvement is one of the main ways farmers can improve the profitability of their deer operation.

With growth rate, for example, genetically improved animals are more likely to earn an extra $1 a kg by hitting the spring peak in the venison schedule. 

The challenge is to identify those animals which, when used for breeding in a herd, will give birth to progeny that perform better than progeny born on the farm in the past. You can’t identify these animals just by looking at them. Nor can you rely on what the person selling them is telling you.

That is why the deer industry has Deer Select: To provide farmers with an accurate, unbiased way of identifying superior breeding animals (normally sires) for use in their herd.

Find the Deer Fact here >>

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Request for support in research about Farmer perspective on drone usage in agriculture business

Kia Ora, my name is Dewi The, and I am a student at the Southern Institute of Technology | Te Pūkenga in Invercargill studying a Master of Applied Management.

I am conducting a research project to examine farmers' perceptions of adopting drone technology in their business practices. It will only take a 10-15 minutes of your time, and your answers will remain confidential and anonymous.

Please complete the survey here:

If you have any questions please contact my supervisor, Dr Jacob Wood, email or myself by email

Thank you once again for your support, and I look forward to a successful collaboration that provides a better understanding of farmers in New Zealand.

Warm regards,
Dewi The

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Veterinarian from USA looking for Persian Fallow genetics

I am a veterinarian from the United States (Texas), and work on cervid reproduction and genetics as a full-time career. I have a client who is interested in obtaining Persian Fallow genetics to bring to Texas for conservation. After reading the history of the Opel Zoo in Germany, it appears that some Persian Fallow were exported from Germany to New Zealand in the 80's. If there are any pure Persian Fallow genetics in New Zealand, I would be highly interested in obtaining genetic material. If you have any leads or people who might have these genetics, if you could please kindly connect us, that would be wonderful.

Thank you so much for your time,
Dr. Will Weise
Veterinarian, Dallas, TX 

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MetService Outlook - December 2023

Climate Drivers – MJO will mix up the weather maps once more in December

Whilst El Nino remains an important player for NZ, the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), a climate driver tracked across the equator, looks set to help shake up the weather maps early in December, much like it did in November. A pulse of the MJO will move from the Maritime Continent (Southeast Asia) into the Western Pacific during the first half of the month. This will lead to more low pressure across the Australasian/NZ regions, with the belt of higher pressure likely displaced further southwards across South Island, similar to November, at least initially.

El Nino is expected to peak in January 2024, continuing through into the autumn months. NZ typically sees the strongest effects of El Nino during late summer/early autumn.

An unsettled start, but dreaming of a bright Christmas

As noted above, the MJO looks likely to help drive a rather unsettled opening to December, although the South Island might tap into drier weather under that southern ridge more often than not. A couple separate Tasman Sea low pressure systems from the weekend of the 2nd/3rd into the following week look likely to bring rainfall right across the country, but especially across North Island. If the second of these makes a connection with an increasingly active tropics to the north, we may well see some notably heavy falls for northern and northeastern portions of North Island too, but this remains far from certain at this early stage. Keeping a close eye on tropical developments to our north will be important through the first half of December.

Heading beyond mid-month, higher than normal pressures are gradually favoured to return across the Tasman Sea, and to the north of New Zealand, with a more westerly pattern redeveloping across the South Island. This pattern is much more typical of El Nino, as the MJO pulse departs eastward. This will be welcome news for those of us across central and northern NZ who are hoping for some more prolonged sunshine as the summer holidays get started and hay-making season ramps up. These synoptic patterns even offer some early hope of a dry Christmas Day BBQ in these regions!

Rainfall should become more frequent again for western and southern South Island though. With a predominantly westerly flow, eastern sections of South Island may well be in for some very hot early summer days alongside long dry runs too.

Bottom Line: An unsettled start for December, with the MJO having a significant say on the weather maps across the wider Australasian/SW Pacific region, but expect the El Nino status quo to redevelop from mid-month.  

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


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Joke of the Month

What game do reindeer play at sleepovers? Truth or deer

Which reindeer tries to fly around on Valentine's Day instead? Cupid

Why are reindeer always so happy on Christmas Eve? Because they're on top of the world!

Where do reindeer get their coffee? Starbucks

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If you have an event that would be of interest to the deer farming industry, please email with details.

Mark your calendars

2023/24 Stag, Hind and Wapiti Bull Sales

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

Complex hard antler measuring workshop

Raincliff Station will be hosting a complex hard antler measuring refresher to help bring anyone involved in the trophy deer industry up to speed with some of the new methods that have been released. This will be held on Tuesday 19 December 2024 in South Canterbury.

Click here for more information >>

Contact Brad Travers for any queries and to RSVP by 15 December - or 021 244 2265

2024 EWSNZ Velvet Competition

The Elk Wapiti Society New Zealand invite you to join them for their annual event to be held in Cromwell on the 2nd and 3rd of February 2024.

Any queries to Grant Hasse 

Reimagining a low emissions future: workshops in Northland and Southland

Perrin Ag Consultants are running workshops across Northland and Southland in February and March 2024. These workshops are designed to collect feedback from those in the communities about how they would envisage a low emissions future in the region might look in these different scenarios.

What’s in it for you?

  • Provide invaluable input on what a lower emissions future might look like in your region
  • Your communities voice will be presented to decision makers in this space
  • $100 koha to acknowledge time and contribution in the form of a prezzy card or a donation to a chosen charity
  • Great opportunity to network with other farmers and growers in your community to share your thoughts on an important topic

- Whangārei, 19 February 2024
- Kaikohe, 20 February 2024
- Kaitaia, 21 February 2024
- Dargaville, 22 February 2024
- Wellsford, 23 February 2024

- Invercargill, 4 March 2024
- Gore, 5 March 2024
- Lumsden, 6 March 2024
- Otautau, 7 March 2024
- Winton, 8 March 2024

For more information or to register, head to >>

2024 CK Import Export Rising Stars

Saturday 9th March 2024, hosted by Waipa Branch NZDFA. 

Competition Classes:

  • 1 Year Old Red Hard Antler
  • 2 Year Old Red Hard Antler
  • 3 Year Old Red Hard Antler
  • 4 Year Old Red Hard Antler
  • 3 Year Old Fallow Hard Antler
  • 'Sire of Three' Hard Antler
  • 2 Year Old Red Velvet
  • 2 Year Old Elk/Wapiti Velvet
  • Heavy Weight 10kg + Red Velvet (Judged on $- Highest Commercial Value)
  • People's Choice Hard Antler
  • People's Choice Velvet
  • Supreme Trophy Award (Hard Antler)

To be held at the Te Awamutu Racecourse, 1025 Racecourse Road, Te Awamutu

Contact Helen Clarke -

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