Why join the NZDFA?

Why join the NZDFA?

Who is eligble to join? - For NZ residents. Farmers, business contacts and associated parties interested in NZ deer farming.       

How the DFA Works

The annual subscription supports the NZDFA at national level to represent deer farmer interests over a broad spectrum of activities, including environment, traceability, research and farmer-led learning. Your local Branch is also supported via a $25.00/head annual capitation fee paid out to help add value to your own regional DFA activities. The 2021/22 year subscription is $120+GST.

Membership activities

DFA national activities, alongside the “Cohesive and Respected Industry” Deer Industry 5-year strategic vision includes:

  • Next Generation Programme: The highly successful Next Generation Programme fostering succession and developing new networks in the industry runs into its 7th year and attracts ~60 registrants and was held in South Canterbury on 8-9 August 2020. Its funded via DFA and DINZ jointly with a programme developed by the past Next Generation future leaders and the hosting Branch. DFA funds the conference with support by DINZ. Delegates simply arranger travel and accommodation  
  • Environment: Ongoing work alongside DINZ’s Environmental stewardship programme with strong support and leadership in regional council environmental and water quality planning implications for deer farmers. This area is a major commitment in voluntary branch input alongside the DINZ and P2P environmental stewardship and a very important connection with your local regional council plans and rules. The DFA believes as an integral part of this major area of work, that all deer farmers have developed a formal Farm Environmental plan. The vision is to be proactive and have these by end 2020, but alongside Beef + Lamb NZ, DFA support that mixed sheep /beef farms with deer certainly will need these completed by 2023. Several Regional Councils will require these already as part of the Regional Plan rules.  https://beeflambnz.com/compliance/environment/environment-plans
  • FEP workshops: The DFA nationally and locally are committed to organising FEP workshops at Branch level to assist deer farmers with the process.  
  • Advance Party Programme: NZDFA encourages Regional leadership in support of the Advance Party programme, with many DFA members heavily involved as group members and/or organisers, DFA encourages the running of Regional Workshops associated with your local branch and support of your own local Branch field-days and events.
  • OSPRI: Further NZDFA initiatives into OSPRI’s Tb Free NZ closed herd annual testing programme offering testing relief from annual to 3 yearly and presently working to reduce total testing as the risk based programme evolves with significant reduction in the testing burden.
  • Stagline Online: a comprehensive monthly electronic newsletter to paid up NZDFA members. Contents include local and national news, links to deer farming related information and as a diary of national and Branch events. This has become a highly successful and informative monthly update to members.
  • NAIT Leader Tags: Negotiated members discount on NAIT tags through Leader Tags with up to 15% savings on verification of current DFA membership.
  • Branch Chair’s Meeting: The important DINZ Board, DINZ Executive and NZDFA combined meeting with the Branch Chairmen in October including encouragement of “New Faces”, an industry leadership development in association with DINZ and the Ian Spiers Memorial Trust.
  • Passion2Profit P2P: Key role in the support, promotion and participation of the Passion2Profit venison marketing and on farm profitability and productivity improvement programme.

The NZDFA relies on this relatively small subscription to function effectively, while continuing to deliver a strong, independent view for the producer at all levels of industry engagement.

NZDFA Landcare Manual completion- praised as Industry leading initiative. It showcased the focus that the Deer Industry and NZ deer farmers have for maintaining their farms and ensuring future generations receive enhanced not depleted property


  • NAIT exclusions and allowances- Deer are able to use different colours for the male component of the NAIT tag. This can assist with management on farm for identifying deer age groups etc. Cattle are required to use all white tags (male/female).
  • Fallow deer have also been excluded from the scheme as retention rates are below required standards.
  • Trophy farms are able to lodge an application with NAIT verifying that they are in-fact a Game Park and therefore can remove tags upon advising NAIT for transport to the Game property
  • A too hard to tag exemption has been passed allowing dangerous animals to be trucked to processors without tags, a fee is still payable for this to NAIT
  • Practical concessions for deer farmers with NAIT and new and less costly requirements for deer farmers in joining the scheme and in timing of tagging new born and capital stock


  • NZDFA Environmental Awards-Enhancing the image of the Deer Industry and our farmers. This event showcases the high performing farmers whom have enhanced their properties or managed environmental issue' areas on farm to high levels. Farming does have an impact on the land and it is about managing and minimising this impact so that future generations can reep the rewards that generations before us have had.
  • An annual Branch Chairmans conference is held in Wellington in October and Is a fact filled two days with presentations from key industry participants.
  • Support promotion and regional identity of the Making the DIFFerence Deer Industry Focus Farm Projects
  • Supporting partners of the industry Passion 2 Profit (P2P) programme and the establishment of Advance Parties in the regions.


  • Animal Health Board new closed herd annual testing programme relief to 3 yearly for qualifying herds


  • Co-funder for significant Sustainable Farming Fund in particular the Johnes Research Group, Focus farm project communication, and the updated Landcare Environmental manual and deer parasite work


  • Special NZDFA members rate with Leader Products for  ~10% off NAIT leader tags and across the Leader range of products
  • Involvement in the development of the Game Animal Council
  • DINZ and DFA combined meeting with the Branch Chairmen including DFA interests in the productivity Improvement Programme and investment in the next generation of deer farmers
  • The encouragement of new industry leadership development in association with DINZ and the Ian Spiers Memorial Trust nz,including the New Faces programme at conference.