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Training and careers

If you are looking to work in the deer industry, or are wanting to up-skill yourself in deer handling and farm systems some of the information below may assist you with finding the right course or role for you.

Looking for a career in the deer industry?

A number of websites are useful when looking for rural careers -on farm or in the agribusiness sector.

Here are a few options available when searching for current vacancies:

Interested in working for Deer Industry New Zealand? Send enquiries to info@deernz.org

Are you a deer farmer looking for staff? Email your adverts to info@deernz.org

Considering undertaking deer specific training?

Training with Primary ITO?

Primary ITO is now part of Te Pūkenga. They may look a bit different, but their people and training remain the same.

As Te Pūkenga grows, they will have options available for you to learn in a way that suits your life while giving you the skills you need to succeed. Visit www.primaryito.ac.nz/tp


Deer Industry New Zealand works closely with Primary ITO to offer a deer NZ Apprenticeship and programmes for those that are interested in up-skilling themselves in deer farming.

Keen to study and know more about deer? Get on qualified on the job! Primary ITO have qualifications for the deer industry which means now is an awesome time to earn while you learn:

  • NZ Certificate in Agriculture (Meat & Fibre) (Level 3) – suitable for Farm General or Shepherds, this qualification will give you a solid skill set across a range of on-farm tasks and seasonal activities.
  • NZ Certificate in Agriculture (Meat & Fibre) (Level 4) – suitable for Head Shepherds or Stock/Block Managers, this qualification has two strands available – Breeding or Non-Breeding. You will grow your skills to step up and lead day-to-day operational activities and implement production plans.
  • NZ Apprenticeship in Agriculture (Meat & Fibre) (Level 3 & 4) – this is a combination of the above qualifications.
  • NZ Apprenticeship in Agriculture (Meat & Fibre) (Level 4)

The Government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund* (Free Trades Training) ends on 31 December 2022 – so take the opportunity now to enrol! Full information can be found on the Primary ITO website page, including FAQ’s >>

*Conditions apply. 

For more information and to get in touch with your local Training Adviser, visit www.primaryito.ac.nz

What is the value of training your staff? 

There are a few good reasons to train your team and to get in touch with Primary ITO: 

  • Create a positive brand for your business, especially in a tight labour market. Why not set yourself apart from your competitors? 
  • A skilled team means more time for you to focus on the strategic priorities of your business (and to have more time for yourself and your family).  
  • The team are able to instantly apply their learning to the job and produce quality work – helping to grow a successful, sustainable business. 
  • Build trust between yourself and your staff.
  • The skills your staff learn are relevant to your business as all qualifications are developed for industry, by industry. 
  • Your staff are working at a recognised industry standard.  
  • Literacy and numeracy support is available for those who need this support. 

There’s great news if you choose to enrol apprentices as the Government has extended MSD’s Apprenticeship Boost which offers financial support until the end of 2023.


Want to learn more about what training can do for your business? Check out what some of our employers had to say about the value of training here.


Hannah Andrew – Landcorp (Pāmu) Mararoa

“Since starting the course 12th June 2018 I have learned about the reproductive system, AI mating, some health signs to look for during conception and from only being in the industry less than a year it really has helped me to open my eyes and go more in depth with dee and see what would benefit my farm”.

Luke Clucas – Raincliff Station

“From first two sessions I have learnt a lot about the reproductive cycle of deer and a bit more about their gene’s.  I liked going out to Deer Genetics to have a look through their shed and having a look at the systems they use to record all their info on their stags and hinds”

Upcoming events and deer courses will be posted to the events page here >>


*Information is correct at the time of publication. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to Primary ITO.

Deer Industry New Zealand invites expressions of interest for the role of Board Observer for 2024. The Board of Deer Industry New Zealand offers the opportunity for personal and professional development to a person with an interest in the deer sector to join the DINZ board in an observer capacity for 14 months until February 2025.

Person Specification:

  • The opportunity is open to any stakeholder in the deer industry who has an interest in assuming governance roles. 
  • The person should have interests in the farmed deer sector, either through ownership of deer or employment in the production, processing or marketing of farmed deer products, or related industries.
  • The purpose of the Observer role is to develop individuals’ governance skills, therefore the applicants need not need have previously served in similar capacities.
  • The person should be sufficiently experienced in their professional capacity to be able to add to the views of the DINZ Board. 
  • Applications from individuals who also have skills and experience from outside of the deer industry are encouraged.

Selection Criteria:

  • Willingness to bring their perspective to the deliberations of the DINZ Board
  • Aspirations for leadership in the deer and/or broader agriculture sector
  • Breadth of experience from outside the deer farming community
  • Availability to contribute to DINZ Board meetings
  • Demonstration of career progression

Selection process:

A selection committee of two DINZ Board members and one from the NZ DFA Selection and Appointment Panel will assess expressions of interest and then interview a shortlist of candidates.   An appointment will be made in December 2023, for a person to attend a full annual cycle of DINZ Board meetings from February 2024 to February 2025.


Travel and other reasonable expenses will be covered by Deer Industry New Zealand. 


The term would be for one full cycle of DINZ meetings from 1 January 2023 to February 28 2025.  At the commencement of the term the observer would be offered the opportunity to attend Institute of Directors training at DINZ expense.


Those interested in applying should submit an expression of interest to DINZ CEO, c/o - innes.moffat@deernz.org  before 30 November 2023. Expressions of interest should include a summary of career to date, involvement with the New Zealand farmed deer sector, and how the skills, attitude and experiences of the applicant would benefit DINZ Board decision making.


  • 3 November - Call for applications 
  • 30 November - Applications close 
  • w/c 4 December – Selection Committee considers applications, Observer appointed
  • w/c 12 Feb 2024 - Observer induction to Deer Industry New Zealand
  • 19 Feb 2024 - Observer attends first meeting.
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