The NZDFA Matuschka Award

The NZDFA Matuschka Award

The New Zealand Deer Farmers’ Association Matuschka Award”

Nominations are invited for a farmer or farming entity who has made a significant ongoing or lifetime of contribution to deer farming and the NZDFA in particular at Branch and regional level in any aspect for deer farming.

The award recognises the grass roots farmer and unsung contributor to local area activities, functions and core spirit of deer farming. It will be announced at the Annual Deer Industry Conference each year.

As recognition of the unsung heroes at Branch level, it is appropriate that the award itself be presented to the winner at a special mid-winter function in the recipient’s Branch.

Nominations should be made through the appropriate Branch or can be direct to the convenor.There is no set format or form to nominate someone. The nominations can be informal, from individuals or Branch nominations or industry groups, or have a nomination endorsed by the branch or other individuals and it’s not necessary to advise a candidate of the nomination.

It’s helpful to have a short biography of your candidate’s contributions, supported by testimonial letters or commentary (more than one is preferred).

Nominations must be submitted to the NZDFA no later than two weeks before the Annual Conference date.

For further information contact:

Judges are the Award sponsor, Murray Matuschka, NZDFA life member Bob Swann, Tony Pearse and the previous year’s winner.

The winner will receive a bronze stag head trophy sculptured by Murray Matuschka as a keep sake and we encourage the relevant branch and supporting groups invite the winner to a branch function at some point. It’s typical of past winners (see attached) that they don’t like the attention, nor would they ever seek it especially at national level, but certainly feel more comfortable locally with their colleagues and friends.  

  • “Murray and Barbara Matuschka developed this Award for the unseen hero…the sort of person that epitomises what Branch activity and commitment is all about, and Murray recognises that every Branch has one or more
  • Nominees typically are reticent about being recognised, so this is a sort of surprise attack, but it is the premier recognition that the NZDFA has in this area for its hard working heroes.”  


  • 1996 Dave Mackie, SCNO  
  • 1997 Bob Dunn, Waikato
  • 1998 Cecil Brown, Poverty Bay
  • 1999 Ken Buckingham, Southland
  • 2000 Harry Robinson, Southland
  • 2001 Brian Marcroft, Waikato
  • 2002 Kelvin Kimber, Canterbury
  • 2003 Brian & Ann Managh, Rotorua
  • 2004 Craig Wilson, Southland
  • 2005 Malcolm Gilbert, Canterbury
  • 2006 Bernie Splitt, Tongariro
  • 2007 Tom Loveridge, Taranaki
  • 2008 Brian Duggan, Southland
  • 2009 Alby Cooper, Waikato
  • 2010 Pip Rutland, Poverty Bay
  • 2011 Brian Freeman, Lawrence and Pat Rowe, Central Regions
  • 2012 Kevin Gilmour, Southland
  • 2013 Philip Irwin, Hawke’s Bay
  • 2014 Chris Petersen, Fiordland
  • 2015 Steve Borland, Waikato
  • 2016 Brian and Jacqui Wellington, Waipa
  • 2017 Murray and Jan Coutts, SCNO and Chrissy and Craig Hocken, Central Regions
  • 2018 Geoff Yule, Central Regions
  • 2019 Graham and Vicki Patterson South Canterbury/North Otago