What’s been happening around the country? | Issue 197

Mar 15, 2024

We are now two weeks into our official autumn and hopefully you have negotiated any pre-rut weaning without too much stress. Certainly, all of those who attended the Hawkes Bay Branch “Deer 2 Succeed” field day will have come away with some tips for their own approach to weaning.  Please see the article later on in this issue to get the run down on the day.  

It does appear that El Nino while not widespread is having an impact on Northland, Wairarapa, top of the South Island and parts of Central Otago. Hopefully farmers still have access to enough water and feed for the stock and some time off farm for themselves.

The Deer 2 Succeed field day was held in mid-February and very well attended. Congratulations to the Hawkes Bay branch, the organising group, and the farmers for putting together such an enjoyable day: lots of useful and shared information, visiting deer sheds, lively discussions, plenty of socialising, venison BBQ and drinks, fantastic weather.

Hands up who’s tried hard weaning!!!

It was really encouraging to see some non-deer farmers who were thinking of getting into deer.  Hopefully the support and information they experienced will give them the confidence to take the final step! And even more so was the presence of South Island deer farmers – we look forward to seeing similar events in other branches in due course.

Here at the DINZ office we are adjusting to the new DINZ structure and staff changes.  At the time of writing DINZ is on the hunt for a new CEO, a communications manager and parental leave cover for the DFA Coordinator (Cenwynn) – the one who puts together DFA Stagline, keeps the Executive Committee ticking over and reminds you all to pay your NZDFA subscription (at $150 it’s a steal)!

With regards to the last position, we are interviewing candidates this week and are aiming to get it filled by early April so there is plenty of time for a smooth handover. So, rest assured DFA Stagline will still be produced and you’ll still get an invoice for your NZDFA subs!

Speaking of positions by now you should have seen the notices for nominations for three NZDFA representative positions: i) DINZ Board producer appointment, ii) Selections and Appointments Panel (two positions), iii) NZDFA Executive Committee (two positions).  More details are in this issue and on the NZDFA webpage: >>.

Nominations close on Friday 22 March at 4pm. Please consider standing for one of these positions (or ask a mate) – it is a great opportunity to help shape and lead the industry.

As with everything, politics and environment are never very far away and in the last issue I commented about regional councils pressing on with existing legislated requirements around freshwater management.  We are aware that the government has a strong desire to slow this down, but so far that desire has not been taken up by councils as they do have legal deadlines to meet.  I would strongly encourage farmers in regions that are going full speed ahead with the implementation of freshwater farm plans and stock exclusion regulations (and SNAs and ONLs etc) to contact DINZ directly – either Luka Jansen or John Ladley (

Not only can they provide you with advice or assistance in meeting any council requirements, but they can also feed your concerns back to DINZ and central government.

Of course, another way to voice concerns is through the NZDFA AGM coming up on 8 May in Napier, just before the start of the industry conference.  Some branches are already meeting or scheduled to meet to discuss concerns and think about submitting remits – there are three topics under consideration: i) clarification and justification of the dissipation of the Cervena brand, ii) inefficiencies and inconsistencies in the NAIT system, iii) tick ear tags (unable to use new tags on deer).  Please contact your branch committee if you wish to know more.  Remits need to be submitted by the end of March/early April to be included in the AGM.

This year’s conference preparations are well underway, and registrations are flowing in nicely.  Please register early as last year we had to shortlist or turn away people who left it late. At $60 for the day and $145 for the dinner this is a very affordable day/night out and a great chance to meet up with old friends and hear from the industry leaders and influencers.

Finally, the NZDFA Executive Committee and I were pleased to return to the Rising Stars hard antler and velvet competition in Te Awamutu (hosted by the Waipa branch).  Another well-run and attended event this year being even more enjoyable as there was no cyclone preceding it.  I’ll cover this off later but it’s a good way to end this update by reminding us of what makes the industry special: A special animal, amazing people (I learned a few more secrets about industry stalwarts that increased my respect for them!), and a strong network of support and humour.

Special animals, amazing people!

- Lindsay Fung, Producer Manager

Continue reading DFA Stagline Issue 197, next: “Deer 2 Succeed” HBDFA Branch >>

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