Noticeboard & Events | Issue 196

Feb 9, 2024


- 2024 Awards and Competitions
- Rising Stars missing trophies
- Thank you to our 2024 conference sponsors
- Post-Cyclone Gabrielle heartfelt thanks for your support in tough times - Kaipara Branch NZDFA
- Trophy antler workshop in December
- Deer Industry NZ Prize at Smedley Station prizegiving

- Production feature: Transporting Deer
- Classifieds
- NIWA and MPI drought forecasting tool
- MetService Outlook February 2024
- Joke of the Month


- Deer 2 $u¢¢eed - Hawkes Bay DFA branch REGISTRATIONS CLOSED
Reimagining a low emissions future: workshops in Northland and Southland
- CK Import Export Rising Stars, 9 March 2024, Te Awamutu
- 2024 Deer Industry Conference, 8-9 May, Hawke's Bay


2024 Awards and Competitions

NZDFA Matuschka Award

The New Zealand Deer Farmers’ Association “Matuschka Award” recognises the grass roots farmer and unsung contributor to local area activities, functions and core spirit of deer farming.

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. 

For more information, head to

Nominations must be submitted to the NZDFA via than 5pm Tuesday 9 April 2024.

Deer Industry Award

The Deer Industry Award is an annual award presented each year to the person, persons jointly, or organisation who, in the opinion of the judges, has made the most outstanding contribution to the New Zealand deer industry, either in the previous year, or over a period of years.

The selection panel is made up of three judges who are the nominees of the following organisations: Countrywide Magazine (NZ Farm Life Media), The NZ Deer Farmers' Association (Inc) and Porter Holdings Ltd.

Nominations close 5pm Tuesday 9 April 2024. A updated entry form for 2024 will be uploaded here when ready: 

2024 MSD Allflex Deer Industry Photo Competition

Last year's competition saw some spectacular entries from all over New Zealand making the job of judging a very difficult one. Many of the images you would have seen featured in the industry's magazine, Deer Industry News and on

There are some great prizes on offer, including;

  • $500 cash prize for the first-place winner
  • Category winner cash prizes
  • Premium gift pack for "People's choice" award
  • Framed photos of winning photographs

New competition category!
A new competition category is making its debut this year! The "Elk/Wapiti" award, kindly sponsored by the Elk/Wapiti Society. 

Entries open now! Competition closes 5pm, Friday 12 April 2024. Click here for more information >>

Please note that this competition is for amateur photographers only. Professional photographers, who derive income from photography, are not eligible to enter. Also please ensure that photos from phone cameras are of a high quality and can be viewed clearly on a large display screen.

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Rising Stars missing trophies

URGENT - The Rising Stars Competition is missing 3 cups from the 2019 Competition

Please help us find them and save the Competition $1,000.00 it will cost to replace the cups.

Contact Helen Clarke 07 8732785 or

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Thank you to our 2024 conference sponsors

Premium sponsors

Tier 2 sponsor

 Tier 3 sponsor

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Post-Cyclone Gabrielle heartfelt thanks for your support in tough times - Kaipara Branch NZDFA

Dear New Zealand Deer Farm Supporters,

On behalf of the Kaipara deer farmers who received your generous financial assistance, we want to express our deepest gratitude for the invaluable timely support.

In times of hardship, the spirit of solidarity within the farming community is apparent . The willingness to extend a helping hand to fellow farmers facing difficulties, touched our hearts. Your support not only eased our financial burdens but also reaffirmed the strong bonds and sense of community that define deer farmers nationwide.

The assistance came at a crucial moment. It is a testament to the compassion of those who donated items to be auctioned and those that brought them, people who understand the importance of standing together in both good times and bad. Knowing we had this support was invaluable.

Again, thank you for the financial and moral support, your actions are a perfect example of the strength of our farming community. We look forward to the opportunity to pay it forward and support others in need when the time comes.

Wishing you all the best and may your “fields be abundant and your harvests bountiful”.

With heartfelt appreciation,

Kaipara Branch NZDFA
Ian Bristow, Chairman
Dave Chisholm, Secretary 

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Trophy antler workshop in December

On Tuesday 19th Raincliff Station was pleased to host a trophy antler measuring day and focus on methods for scoring trophy antlers.

Hub Hall kindly came down from Hamilton to discuss the procedures and discuss his knowledge and give farmers and outfitters a clearer understanding.

It was a great turnout of 70 people in attendance and some had travelled from the north island to attend. It was great to see the passion throughout the room for the trophy Industry as a whole.

The day was filmed and if you wish to see this, please email me for a link -

Brad Travers, Raincliff Station

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Deer Industry NZ Prize at Smedley Station prizegiving

At the Smedley Station graduation and prizegiving held in January, cadet James Kelly was awarded the Deer Industry NZ prize and Brent Norwell Memorial Cup which go to the cadet for ability in handling deer and interest in the production of velvet antler. Producer manager Lindsay Fung was able to travel up to the Hawke's Bay to see James receive his awards.

James Kelly (second from right) pictured with (left to right) Rob Evans, Smedley Station manager, Lindsay Fung, DINZ producer manager and Richard Hilson, chair Howard Estate Advisory Board.

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Production feature: Transporting Deer

The transportation of deer is a vital link in the overall “pasture to plate” concept. Assurances covering transport have to be given and met in order to satisfy the requirements of importing countries. In recent times the transport requirements from many of our importing countries have become increasingly complex and are highly likely to impact on the way we go about transporting deer in the future.

You can read more about the Transport QA, including both your transporter's and your own obligations, and a list of accredited deer transport operators at >>

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Up to 50% off* Primary ITO | Te Pūkenga fees!

Are you considering enrolling yourself or your staff in an Ag apprenticeship? For 2024 only, enrol yourself or your staff in an Agriculture Primary ITO work-based programme or micro-credential and get up to 50% off* fees!

Learn more at >>

Job enquiry

My name is Valentin, I'm 28 yo, I'm from Uruguay but I've been working in New Zealand since 2019 on dairy farms. I'm looking for the chance to work in a different industry than dairy, to keep learning about farming in NZ. If someone needs a new staff member I'm more than happy to have an interview if needed. I grew up in a sheep and beef farm, and for the last 4 years I was working on dairy farms in NZ. I also have an agricultural degree from university (5 years duration) and experience working with animals, tractor jobs, etc. I have a residence visa and can provide a CV with reference. I'm located in Canterbury (Sheffield). Feel free to contact me if you need more information.

Kind regards, Valentin 
0225495975 or

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NIWA and MPI drought forecasting tool

MPI and NIWA have launched a new tool to help predict drought conditions.

The drought forecasting tool is part of the NIWA35 platform, which is using machine learning and deep learning to make high resolution sub-seasonal climate predictions up to 35 days ahead.

You can access the tool and learn more about it on the NIWA  website here: >>

Useful information on dealing with drought situations can also be found on the MPI website here: >>

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MetService Outlook - February 2024

The return of the Northland ridge and long-promised westerlies

As kids across NZ head back to school, it looks like the weather maps have been studying hard over the summer break with a textbook El Nino month on the cards this February. After El Nino impacts stuttered a bit through the first couple months of summer an enhanced westerly regime, with high pressure ridging persistent across northern NZ and regular fronts washing through south of the high (this is a classic signal during an El Nino summer), is likely to dominate over the next month. The high might win out across South Island at times too, but not as much as we have seen through early summer, and a more unsettled, windier outlook is favoured for the SW corner of New Zealand than over recent months.

Near to above normal rainfall is expected for the west and south of the South Island, with the strongest signal for wetter conditions in Fiordland. Fronts should occasionally intrude into the dominant high pressure over the North Island, but any moisture these bring to western areas will likely be rapidly sucked out of the ground by persistent windy days. Eastern and northern areas are expected to be drier than normal, especially during the first half of the month.

A cool start to the month, but temperatures should rebound around Waitangi Day. The second half of the month should see regular fluctuations with plenty of warm days still, but interspersed with cooler outbreaks, before an overall downwards trend towards the tail end of summer. 

Bottom Line: Longer settled spells for northern NZ, westerlies further south. Expect some windy days in the mix too.  

You can sign up for the MetService's Monthly Outlook right to your inbox - click here to subscribe.


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Joke of the Month

How to write "I changed a lightbulb" on your CV:

"Single-handedly managed the successful upgrade and deployment of a new environmental illumination system with zero cost overruns and no safety incidents."

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If you have an event that would be of interest to the deer farming industry, please email with details.

Mark your calendars

Deer 2 $u¢¢eed - Hawkes Bay DFA branch


The HB Branch of the NZ Deer Farmers' Association invite you to Deer 2 $u¢¢eed, Wednesday 14 Feb.

"Kill weaners when you want to, not before"

Join local deer farmers, vets, and our guest speaker from AgResearch for a workshop of finding a weaning system that works well for your farm and management style."

While registrations have now closed, attendees will get to do the following:
Tea & Coffee before visiting two local Hawkes Bay farms to discuss weaning management.
Lunch before discussion on 'what good looks like and why it doesn’t always happen'.
Followed by joining the HB Branch for a beverage and a bbq at the end of the day, for a catch up.

If you have any questions on the even, please get in touch with Hawke's Bay chair Evan Potter,

Reimagining a low emissions future: workshops in Northland and Southland

Perrin Ag Consultants are running workshops across Northland and Southland in February and March 2024. These workshops are designed to collect feedback from those in the communities about how they would envisage a low emissions future in the region might look in these different scenarios.

What’s in it for you?

  • Provide invaluable input on what a lower emissions future might look like in your region
  • Your communities voice will be presented to decision makers in this space
  • $100 koha to acknowledge time and contribution in the form of a prezzy card or a donation to a chosen charity
  • Great opportunity to network with other farmers and growers in your community to share your thoughts on an important topic

- Whangārei, 19 February 2024
- Kaikohe, 20 February 2024
- Kaitaia, 21 February 2024
- Dargaville, 22 February 2024
- Wellsford, 23 February 2024

- Invercargill, 4 March 2024
- Gore, 5 March 2024
- Lumsden, 6 March 2024
- Otautau, 7 March 2024
- Winton, 8 March 2024

For more information or to register, head to >>

2024 CK Import Export Rising Stars

Saturday 9th March 2024, hosted by Waipa Branch NZDFA. 

Competition Classes | Sponsors:

1. 1 Year Old Red Hard Antler | Rockvale Deer Stud
2. 2 Year Old Red Hard Antler | Lynne Rhodes AI Services Ltd
3. 3 Year Old Red Hard Antler | Tower Farms
4. 4 Year Old Red Hard Antler | Crowley Deer
5. 3 Year Old Fallow Hard Antler | NZ Fallow Deer Society
6. 'Sire of Three' Hard Antler (Fallow, Red or Elk/Wapiti) | LJ AI Services
7. 2 Year Old Red Velvet | Foveran Deer Park
8. Red Deer Super Heavy Weight 10+kg Velvet | Brock Deer
9. 2 Year Old Elk/Wapiti Velvet| Elk Wapiti Society NZ
10A. 2 Year Old Elk/Wapiti Hard Antler - Typical | Downlands Deer & Studstock
10B. 2 Year Old Elk/Wapiti Hard Antler - Non Typical | Downlands Deer & Studstock

People's Choice Hard Antler |
People's Choice Velvet | Ultra Scan, Raewyn Cunliffe
Supreme Trophy Award (Hard Antler) | Peel Forest Estate

To be held at the Te Awamutu Racecourse, 1025 Racecourse Road, Te Awamutu

For more information, click here >>

Contact Helen Clarke -

2024 Deer Industry Conference, 8-9 May, Hawke's Bay

The 2024 industry conference makes a return taking place in Hawke's Bay

The highlight of the conference will be the awards dinner which will feature presentations to the winners of the Matuschka and Deer Industry awards as well as announcing the winners of the MSD Photo Competition.

It will also include a field day the following day. 

Registrations open soon!


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