Noticeboard & Events | Issue 199

May 17, 2024


- DINZ – NZDFA appointed board member candidates statements
- Expressions of Interest for the 2024 Next Generation Programme
NAIT Compliance Issues
- Deer Research Project
- 2024/25 NZDFA subscriptions and contact details
- MetService Outlook May 2024
- Joke of the Month


- 6th June SCNO AGM - TBC
- 2024 Next Generation Programme - 8-9 August
- 2024 National Velvet and Hard Antler Competition, Awards night 14 December, Invercargill


DINZ – NZDFA appointed board member candidate statements

There is one producer-appointed position on the DINZ board open for nomination created by the retirement by rotation of Mandy Bell (seeking re-election).

Nominees Mandy Bell and John Tacon (Grant Charteris on behalf of) had an opportunity to address the NZDFA AGM, on 8 May and will be interviewed in June by the NZDFA SAP to decide on the best candidate.

Please get in touch with NZDFA Returning Officer Lindsay Fung if you have any questions on or 027 668 0141.

DINZ Candidate statement Amanda Bell

Amanda (Mandy) Bell is Executive Chair of DINZ. Mandy is passionate about enabling families to farm sustainably and profitably. A veterinarian by profession, and a deer farmer at Criffel Station near Wanaka with husband Jerry and their three children, Mandy has been deeply connected to the deer industry for almost 30 years and as an industry professional, advocate and supporter. She is a director and business owner in the primary sector and veterinary and tourism industries, adding value in strategy development that turns vision into action.

Mandy is seeking re-election to build on the progress made in recent years. Recent strategy and restructuring work to address industry challenges has put DINZ on a surer footing. Mandy is excited by the opportunities before the industry as it transitions for the future, and iscommitted to delivering on this strategy to deliver future value for DINZ stakeholders.


Candidate Statement - John Tacon

With nearly three decades of service to the deer industry, I am standing for this role because I believe that it is crucial to bridge the knowledge gap between industry veterans and new entrants. I have a wealth of experience and insights to share with the next generation of deer farmers: Ensuring that the valuable lessons learned from our industry's early days are not lost and will guide our future growth and success. I will be a mentor and resource for newcomers to the industry.

I will work collaboratively to drive positive change and ensure that our industry capability strategy aligns with the needs of our producers and executive staff. I am not afraid to ask tough questions or challenge the status quo for the best interests of our industry. At the same time, I am committed to finding common ground and working towards solutions that benefit us all.

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Expressions of Interest for 2024 Next Generation Programme

This year our ever-popular Next Generation Programme comes to Manawatu over Thursday 8 & Friday 9 August.  Branch chairs are invited to submit names of members (new entrants) that they wish to attend the Next Generation Programme. General registrations will be open in June (date to be advised).

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NAIT Compliance Issues

To enable the NZDFA to be able to enact the recent NAIT remit from the NZDFA AGM, we request that farmers who have had any NAIT Compliance Issues arising over the past 12 months contact the NZDFA OSPRI Representative Craig North on 027 4730864 or email   

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Deer Research Project 

Jasmine James is currently a 4th year M.SC. Wild Animal Biology student studying at the Royal Veterinary College.

Her final year project is looking into how the health of farmed deer is assessed by people who work with them, to see if the results from this survey can be applicable to the assessment of the health of wild deer herds. 

Jasmine is looking for participants for this survey specifically, deer veterinarians and deer farmers. If you wish to take part please follow the link below for further details. The survey and results will be anonymous.

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2024/25 NZDFA subscriptions and contact details

Invoices will be sent out by the end of May. 

Invoices will be sent out by email again so get in touch if you need to update your email address with us. Also please update your contact details - address and contact number. 

Be sure to add in your address book to ensure you receive the invoice.

If you are not currently a member and would like to be, please email to be added to the list.

Payment will still need to pay via bank transfer (02-0506-0268055-000, please update your records) and a reminder that BNZ does not accept cheques. 

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MetService Outlook - May 2024

Issued 02 May 2024

May 2024 Rural Outlook

Description of April 2024 - El Nino rumbles on, but a deluge from the subtropics mid-month shakes up the weather maps

New Zealand saw an El Nino-like weather picture during the month of April, as it had done through March. It also felt a lot like typical mid-autumn for the majority of New Zealand, most of the time. Large high-pressure systems brought cool mornings followed by pleasant and calm afternoons, but occasional fronts streaming up the country from the Southern Ocean injected bouts of cool air, dustings of snow about the mountain peaks, and showery spells right across the country at times.

However, this doesn’t quite tell the full story…sandwiched between this normal autumnal weather we saw an atmospheric river, a feed of warmth and moisture from the subtropics, set up across the country heralding a raft of weather watches and warnings right across New Zealand. Very heavy rain moved onto the South Island West Coast between 9-12th April, where high level stations on The Divide saw between 500-800mm widely; swollen rivers and slips ensued, cutting off numerous roads in the region. Significant amounts of rainfall reached over the Southern Alps into the Otago and Canterbury headwaters and caused major impacts, damaging a railway bridge across the Rangitata River whilst Wanaka, Dunedin and Queenstown all clocked in a top five wettest April day.

Whilst the deluge was not welcome news everywhere, thirsty soils in parts of central New Zealand were relieved to see their first heavy rainfall in months, especially in Marlborough, Nelson and Wellington. Blenheim recorded 80.6mm of rain on Fri 12th, more than their typical April’s monthly total (58.1mm).

The warm spike associated with our subtropical airmass also meant that April came in relatively near normal country-wide, despite a cooler closing salvo.

Climate Drivers – El Nino heading for the exit, and Tropical Cyclone season draws to a close

Key oceanic markers are now below El Nino thresholds, and as we head towards neutral territory in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean the 23-24 event is drawing to a close. However, it will still have a diminishing say on our weather maps through the rest of Autumn, with the atmosphere and weather often lagging the oceans. This means our enhanced southwest flows of March and April, are still expected to be with us for a little while longer. Neutral El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are expected through Winter, and this would typically see increased variability on our weather maps as shorter-term climate drivers take precedence.

There is a growing signal that La Nina will develop into early Spring. Any effects from La Nina are unlikely to be seen until the summer and will be very dependent on its strength, which remains far from certain.

The end of April also marks the end of the Southwest Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season. While Tropical Cyclones have been known to form in May in the past, this year the risk is considered Very Low to Low. The MetService Daily Tropical Cyclone Bulletin has now finished until November, however, the team continues to monitor the region and will provide updates if needed.

May 2024 Outlook – Woollies required, brollies semi-retired!

May 2023 was the warmest May on record in New Zealand as northerly airmasses plagued the weather maps, with a widespread marine heatwave in the waters surrounding the country. Fast-forward one year, and one El Nino event, and we are looking at a much-changed picture in the waters around New Zealand, with cool anomalies emerging right around the country and in the Southern Ocean to our south.

With the weather maps expected to continue to sing off the Nino hymn sheet for a couple more months yet (albeit increasingly out of tune!) enhanced south-westerly winds are still likely to continue with us throughout May, often dragging in some very cold air from the south. With this air moving over much cooler seas this May than last, cool snaps are likely to have some notable bite to them over the final month of Autumn, making for a very different feel to this time last year.

This will especially be the case over the opening fortnight of May where very cold southerly winds will be persistent, as high pressure sits slow-moving west of the South Island. While the odd front will move through, it is likely that our opening cold front on May 1st will bring the best of any rainfall for the majority of the country in the first half of the month. This front saw some very heavy falls for Wellington in particular, where 40-80mm fell in just 12 hours.

Lots of dry Autumnal days with crisp sunshine are expected to develop during these opening two weeks, especially across the bulk of South Island, with only really Southland and Clutha tapping into more frequent southerly showers. Whenever winds are brisker, especially on those exposed coasts, woolly hats will be essential!

The second half of May sees the axis of highest-pressure shift northwards into the northern Tasman Sea, opening the door to increased volatility and more regular frontal visitors from the west or southwest. This is your standard Autumnal fare, with two or three fronts a week moving quickly across the country, generally fading as they move over the North Island. A few of these fronts could pack a punch in terms of rainfall, especially for western and southern areas of New Zealand, so whilst the umbrellas might gather some dust early in May, it’ll pay to keep them handy from mid-month. With the increased volatility, temperatures should bounce around a bit more with some milder weather a possibility at times.

Bottom Line

A dry and cold opening fortnight for most of the country, despite a notable burst of rain on May 1st. Westerly fronts return with regularity over the second half of the month and rainfall distributions look more like normal for late Autumn. Recall May is typically a wet month in NZ, so even with a drier than normal outlook overall we will still see a number of wet days, especially from mid-month.

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

One day a man went to an auction. Whilst there, he bid on a parrot. 

He really wanted this bird, so he got caught up in the bidding. 

He kept on bidding, but kept getting outbid, so he bid higher and higher and higher. 

Finally, after he bid way more than he intended, he won the bid - the parrot was his at last!

As he was paying for the parrot, he said to the auctioneer "I sure hope this parrot can talk. I would hate to have paid this much for it, only to find out that he can't talk!"

"Don't worry," said the Auctioneer. "He can talk. Who do you think kept bidding against you? "

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

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To be held 6th June. TBC. 

2024 Next Generation Programme 2024

The 2024 programme comes to Manawatu over Thursday 8 and Friday 9 August. Further details to be provided. 

2024 National Velvet & Trophy Competition

The 2024 Awards Night has been confirmed for Saturday 14th of December. Contact for any enquiries. Details will be updated here when available >>

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