Executive Committee Update | Issue 181

Sep 8, 2022

Karen Middelberg

Well, the grass is growing, and spring feels like its on it way though it is yet again raining and, like most of New Zealand, Hawkes Bay is pretty sodden. We feel for those farmers in Marlborough and Tasman, yet again dealing with the aftermath of the recent rain events. Tony Peacock (Nelson branch chair) has tried to contact members to see if anyone is in need of assistance and it appears that most are coping okay. If you do want some support, please get in touch either through the local branch or the Executive Committee.

The last couple of weeks have been busy with button drafting and for us the velvet season has truly started with the first stag cut last week. Apart from that, it looks like our velveting will be condensed with buttons being cast in quick succession.

Since the Next Generation event last month, the Executive Committee has been busy planning the Branch Chairs Meeting in October. We plan to find out what our members currently require of the organisation and the NZDFA executive especially, with support for branch activities. With P2P coming to a close, we see a new chapter in how the NZDFA connects with its members and represents their interests. Our hope is to gain a clear understanding of how our members want the NZDFA to function for them in this tough trading and regulation-ridden environment.

Mark McCoard is taking orders for NZDFA jackets, and we are hoping that most of the Branch Chairs will be sporting them in Wellington. If anyone is interested in purchasing one you can contact Mark via email ( and for a preview see the below image of us modelling them at the Next Gen or click here for a photo of previous exec wearing them – really tidy and warm jackets that look smart. 

Karen Middelberg, Mark McCoard, Justin Stevens (chair) and Jamie Ward

Also, the Executive Committee has had another round of online meetings with the processors catching up with how things are looking in the markets coming into the chill season. A more detailed article about this is included in this edition of Stagline.

Finally, we are still talking and advocating strongly behind the scenes to anyone who will listen and can possibly influence where things will land with HWEN. Not too sure who actually listens though! Our DINZ Chair is keeping us informed with progress and making good use of the seat they have at the table. The NZDFA Executive Committee are asking for the financial inequities that sit in the current proposal to be addressed and for assurance that our industry is not disproportionately affected. It is very hard to know where it will all land as there are so many moving parts, but we will keep you updated as information comes to hand. There is a planned meeting with the Climate Change Commission to better understand the position they have taken and what the implications of this may be to us should the government incorporate it into the final draft. Some of the work we have been involved in was lobbying to HWEN before it was signed over to the ministers, this can be seen by going to which explains the position we have taken. There has been nothing like this for changing the farming landscape (both practically and figuratively) since Rogernomics in the early 1980s – hold on tight!

I hope button drafting is going well, and those weaners should be growing like mushrooms now. All the best for the upcoming season.

- Karen Middelberg, Executive Committee Member and SAP Chair, Takapau

Continue reading DFA Stagline Issue 181, next: Venison marketing managers meetings >>

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