Covid-19 Information

Covid-19 Information

COVID-19 Update from Deer Industry New Zealand - February 2021

With Auckland in Alert Level 3 and Alert Level 2 for the rest of NZ, we have once again been reminded of the importance of keeping ourselves and others safe from Covid-19.  

Maintaining good hygiene, keeping our distance, wearing masks on public transport and staying home if feeling unwell are extremely important wherever we are.

Please review previous information below and visit for information on each alert level and the most up-to-date information.

COVID-19 Update from Deer Industry New Zealand - October 2020

With Auckland joining the rest of the country in Level 1, restrictions are now the same for everyone. 
While we may now be able to gather more freely, maintaining good hygiene, keeping our distance, and staying home if feeling unwell is still extremely important wherever we are.
As a reminder, view the restrictions for each alert level at and you can find the most up-to-date information there as well.

COVID-19 Update from Deer Industry New Zealand - 20 Aug 2020

With the country remaining in Alert Level 3 for Auckland and Alert Level 2 for the rest of NZ, we have been reminded of the importance of keeping ourselves and others safe from Covid-19.  

Maintaining good hygiene, keeping our distance, and staying home if feeling unwell are extremely important wherever we are.

QR Codes

From 11.59am Wednesday 19 August, all businesses must display a NZ COVID Tracer QR code in a prominent place or near the main entrance for each business location. Farms are businesses, so please ensure people coming onto your property (including contractors, vets etc) scan the QR code using the Ministry of Health’s NZ COVID Tracer app.

Get your official QR code poster >> 

Meetings under Level 2

Small gatherings are still OK under Level 2. Remember if you are attending, please:

  • Practice safe physical distancing
  • Keep high hygiene standards
  • Sign in so contact tracing can be conducted if necessary
  • Businesses must display the COVID-19 tracker QR code
  • Do not attend if unwell

More details are at and we will be updating as required.

Auckland Travel

Essentially the Auckland city ‘border’ is closed, meaning that no meetings or events should be taking place and some businesses may need to adjust their operations while Auckland is at Level 3.

Staff and contractors may not be able to travel in/out of Auckland, or through Auckland even if they are 'essential services'.  Some exemptions will be allowed by the Director-General of Health against very limited criteria and if there’s an urgent and compelling reason to travel inter-regionally. For information on these exemptions and how to apply, visit the Ministry of Health website here >>

MPI has indicated that if you want to access another farm block across the border, you can if you have proof of ownership. At this point in time we understand that stock agents and veterinarians are not currently covered by a blanket exemption and will need to apply on an individual or company basis. 

Beef and Lamb NZ have some excellent management resources and plans available for livestock farmers:

For links to the Ministry For Primary Industries advice page on operations under Alert Levels 2 and 3 go here:

Staff and Illness

Farmers should be taking practical steps to protect your family, workers and others who may come onto your farm. Good hygiene, physical distancing (workers should remain one meter apart and where physical distancing is impractical, a mask should be considered), and keeping track of people coming onto the farm are all important. 

Businesses should ensure staff who are ill with COVID-like symptoms (cold or flu-like symptoms) do not work.  People with even the slightest cold or flu-like symptoms should call their GP or Healthline (on 0800 358 5453) to get advice on testing. It is important people do not turn up to a GP’s office without calling ahead.

Staying at home - COVID-19 >>

Useful Links:

COVID-19 Update from Deer Industry New Zealand - 12 Aug 2020

With the change in the country status last night we have been reminded of the importance of keeping ourselves and others safe from Covid-19.  
Maintaining good hygiene, keeping our distance, and staying home if feeling unwell are extremely important wherever we are.
Deer Industry New Zealand staff will be traveling only for essential reasons until further notice, and moving meetings involving people from around the country on-line.
But small gatherings are still ok under level 2.  Please see below DINZ advice on hosting small gatherings:

Meeting face-to-face at Level 2

The risk of COVID-19 transmission in the community has returned, but we are still able to do a range of activities including the resumption of Advance Party, Environment groups and other small gatherings, safely.

Facilitators and organisers will need to observe the following and should as a matter of good practice develop a safety plan for each meeting. A plan will need to allow for, and include the following requirements for Level 2:
  • Practice safe physical distancing
  • Keep high hygiene standards
  • Encourage everyone to bring their own food and drink, or if supplied, it should be in individual portions
  • A record of attendees must be kept to ensure contact tracing can be conducted if necessary.
  • Businesses must display and use the Covid19 Tracker Ap QR code.
  • People who are unwell should not attend
  • Groups should make sure that notes are kept of meeting discussions to supply to those who don't attend.

DINZ does not need to see your plan to keep safe while meeting. Thank you for your assistance in keeping people safe and getting back on top of this disease.
We will be updating as required.

Level 3 - Auckland    /    Level 2 - rest of NZ 


Information for managing your business under the COVID-19 alert levels.

The New Zealand government has introduced a four-level alert system to guide behaviour as the country attempts to eliminate Covid-19.  Farming and the growing of food, production, transport, processing and sale of food and beverage is recognised as an essential service. This includes the provision of services essential to farmers and growers operating their businesses. Infection rates are dropping in New Zealand due to the measures put in place.  Everybody needs to continue to observe the requirements under each alert level to help eliminate the disease from New Zealand.  

Guidance for farmers: Safe working plans >>

What farm activities are permitted >>

Ways to maintain good hygiene >>

Essential Services Employee's Movement declaration >>

Market update >>

Guidance for farmers: Keep your family and your workers safe:

Please encourage your workers and your family to take this seriously. Avoid contact with people who are unwell, maintaining a 2-metre distance between staff at all times and increase personal hygiene measures.

Hand cleaning with soap products and surface disinfectants are very effective. Note that if using alcohol sanitisers, they need to be used on dry hands (not with water) to be effective.

Guidance for farm businesses on steps that should be taken to keep farmers and workers safe can be viewed here: Guidance for farmers: Safe working plans >>

What farm activities are permitted?

  • Alert Level 3: farming and other primary sector businesses and support services can operate, as long as they can do so safely. Businesses providing support services to the primary sector provided they can operate safely, include (but not limited to)
    • farriers, fencers, pest management operators (including vector control), rural contractors, farm advisors, research and science services, wholesalers, firewood suppliers, timber manufacturers and suppliers, farm property sales agents, construction of farm sheds, barns and herd homes, routine plant, farm and gear maintenance, manufacture, distribution and application of agricultural input products, production and installation of frost protection fans
    • Stock sales, wool sales and auctions (public must not attend) should be run online where possible.
    • Retail businesses can operate, only if they can offer contactless delivery or pre-arranged collection. Eligible businesses include agricultural supply stores, pet stores, butcher shops, bakeries and greengrocers, restaurants, cafes, takeaways and cellar doors
  • Alert Levels 1 and 2: farming and other primary sector businesses and support services can operate, as long as they can do so safely.
  • Restrictions on gatherings will also apply, but field days and other events may be held as long as travel is local, physical distancing is followed and contact tracing is applied.

Risk elimination

Like all businesses, farms are obliged to eliminate transmission risks where possible. Where elimination is not possible farms and businesses need to substitute work practices or provide as higher level of control as possible. There is an expectation that farms and businesses maintain, or create new, practices that meet or exceed the MoH guidelines as they are updated. Latest COVID-19 health guidelines can be found here.

Ways to maintain good hygiene


  • Staff should be given information on when and how to wash or sanitise their hands and should be given opportunities to do this regularly. This includes that they should wash or sanitise their hands at the beginning and end of the day, before and after breaks, and after coughing or sneezing. See more information on good hand-washing.
  • Staff working around surfaces also touched by others should be washing their hands at least once an hour. Ensure there are enough staff on hand to enable this to happen and that corners are not cut due to a lack of staff.
  • High frequency areas such as milking related areas, woolsheds or farm vehicles should have access to hand sanitiser to use between use.


  • Ideally workers should change overalls or work clothing at work.
  • Once home, before having any physical contact with others, workers should remove work clothing and put them into a hot wash.
  • Provide additional overalls or relax farm branded clothing policies in order to ensure this can be done practicably by workers.

Personal protective equipment

  • Gloves must be provided where they are required for tasks like cleaning or where workers are touching high touch surfaces. Staff may want to wear disposable gloves when touching high touch surfaces.
  • Although this is not a Ministry of Health requirement, providing masks for workers to wear on an optional basis might make them and other staff feel reassured.
  • Workers must be told how to use and dispose of PPE correctly. See the COVID-19 website

Essential Services Movement Declaration

If New Zealand reverts to Alert Level 4, Police have the power to stop people who are not undertaking essential business. Travel for workers and contractors will be helped if they are carrying a letter from their employer describing the nature of their business. A template of the letter can be downloaded here >>

Market Update:

DINZ will provide regular updates on the impact of COVD-19 on the markets for our deer products: 

20/5/2020 - Marketers of New Zealand farm-raised venison are making a concerted push to build sales through on-line outlets and through gourmet retailers. This gourmet product, normally sold mainly through food service distributors to chefs, has been particularly hard-hit by the sound of restaurant doors slamming shut around the globe.  Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) chief executive Innes Moffat says Covid-related restaurant shut-downs created a crisis for their food service suppliers and the farmers that supply them. Demand from chefs for NZ farm-raised venison – one of the industry’s greatest assets – overnight became a vulnerability. The full article is here>>

16/04/2020 - These are unprecedented, rapidly-changing times with some bumps occurring in our overseas markets. Deer Industry News writer Ali Spencer looks ahead at prospects for our main products.  Venison and velvet processors and marketers are dealing with disrupted routes and capacity issues. On the plus side, the situation has happened towards the end of the venison production season and at the tail-end of the velvet season. Foodservice and hospitality have been taking the most strain initially, including in European and US markets. Venison and velvet buyers are placing orders for delivery later in the year, but conditions remain very uncertain. The probability of a global recession is growing, along with a likelihood of a negative impact on consumer spending across all our markets. The full article is available here>>

27/03/2020 - Market conditions are tough for venison in March 2020. Restaurants in Europe, China and North America are being ordered to close so importers and distributors are winding back on their orders of chilled venison. Processing companies are implementing new regimes to operate safely according to the new guidelines, but this does mean a slow down of processing capacity. DINZ urges all farmers to be checking with their venison processors regularly to determine killing space for priority stock. Velvet marketers are hopeful of a resumption of trade as key outlets in China and North Korea appear to be reopening following their lockdown periods. But the situation is fluid and the scale of the resumption is uncertain. An in-depth market report can be read here >>

Above all

Keep safe and keep clear.

Make sure everybody in your and your employees’ house keeps a 2-metre distance from others as much as possible.

If you or someone you know needs some help with managing this stressful situation, we encourage you to reach out to your friends, networks, professional colleagues or support lines.

FarmStrong >>

Rural Support Trust >>