Noticeboard & Events | Issue 197

Mar 15, 2024


- Top of the South now a medium-scale adverse event
- Final call for Industry Positions: nominations close 22 March
- Obituary - Don Gregson
- 2024 Awards and Competitions
- 2024/25 NZDFA subscriptions - invoices will head out in April
- Thank you to our 2024 conference sponsors
- DFA Coordinator heading on parental leave

- Production feature: Drought feeding and management - new Deer Fact
- Classifieds
- MetService Outlook March 2024
- Joke of the Month


- 2024 Deer Industry Conference, 8-9 May, Hawke's Bay
- 2024 National Velvet and Hard Antler Competition, Awards night 14 December, Invercargill


Top of the South now a medium-scale adverse event

Agriculture Minister Todd McClay has classified the drought conditions in the Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts as a medium-scale adverse event, acknowledging the challenging conditions facing farmers and growers in the district.

This classification is on top of funding of up to $20,000 that was made available to the Top of the South Rural Support Trust last month to provide extra support.

Farmers and growers who require support are encouraged to contact their local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254.

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Final call for Industry Positions: nominations close 22 March


The following NZDFA members are up for re-election or retirement from the Selection and Appointments Panel (SAP) and Executive Committee:

  • Graham Peck (SAP, elected 2022) - seeking re-election
  • William Oliver (SAP, elected 2022) - seeking re-election
  • Karen Middelberg (EC, elected unopposed 2022) - seeking re-election
  • Jamie Ward (EC, appointed 2022) - not seeking nomination

Deer Industry New Zealand

There is also a position coming up for a producer appointed member on the DINZ board with Mandy Bell's position available by rotation.

Interviews for the DINZ board position will be held on the 13 or 14 June (this will be confirmed as soon as possible).

Nominations close 4pm Friday 22 March

Forms and further information can be found on the website here:

If you would like to indicate your interest, or talk to someone in confidence about these positions, please get in touch with NZDFA Returning Officer Lindsay Fung on or 027 668 0141.

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Obituary - Don Gregson

Long-serving treasurer of the NZDFA and trustee of the Ian Spiers Trust Don Gregson passed away in mid February.

The chartered accountant had an involvement with fallow deer and was awarded life membership of the NZDFA for outstanding service over 16 years, ending in 2002.

Former NZDFA councillor and chair David Stevens described Gregson as a well-respected treasurer with a penchant for fine wine “who kept us on track in a gentlemanly way.”

“He was great company and got along with everybody and did a great job.”

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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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2024/25 NZDFA subscriptions - invoices will head out in April

The next subscription year starts on 1 April 2024 and membership invoices will be heading out later in April.

We will be sending out invoices by email again so get in touch if you need to update your email address with us. Also please add in your address book to ensure you receive the invoice.

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

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

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Thank you to our 2024 conference sponsors

Platinum sponsor

Premium sponsors

Tier 2 sponsor

 Tier 3 sponsor

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DFA Coordinator heading on parental leave

DFA Coordinator Cenwynn is heading on parental leave later on in April. We will let you know in the next DFA Stagline her replacement through June 2025.

All NZDFA enquiries can go to or 04 473 4500 and you can reach Producer Manager Lindsay Fung on or 027 668 0141.

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Production feature: Drought feeding and management - updated Deer Fact

For drought management tips, check out the ‘Drought feeding and management’ Deer Fact.

An updated version is now available on the website here >>

Key points

  • When drought sets in, take control. Make a plan for what you will do if the drought continues.
  • Aim to limit the impact of drought on stock and pastures to one season.
  • Check your water supply and monitor it daily. A good supply of clean water is essential for stock welfare and survival.
  • Take heart. With good nutrition, it is possible to meet deer production targets in a drought.
  • Drought is stressful. Keep in contact with other deer farmers. Take time to relax off the farm and keep making decisions (be positive).
  • Longer-term, consider ways to drought-proof your farm.

Replacements for your Deer Facts folio were sent out with the latest issue of Deer Industry News. For all enquiries on hard copies of Deer Facts, please contact the office on or 04 473 4500. 

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Wanted - hydraulic deer crush

Must be in good working order. Contact Wayne (based in Invercargill) on or 027 432 7932. 

Vet student placements

We've had a number of vet students reaching out for help with placements. If you're able to help, please get in touch with the student directly:

  • Rachel Shirley is a second year vet student at Massey University looking for a placement between 24 June and 5 July. Ideally looking for a farm within the Palmerston North area or possibly the Western Bay of Plenty. You can reach her on or 027 6052 136.
  • Sophie Frost is a second year vet student at Massey University looking for a 2 week placement in November, between 11th and 22nd preferred. Ideally would be in Manawatu (within an hours drive of Palmerston North) but could go elsewhere if there is accommodation. You can reach her on or 020 4120 1846.
  • Tayla Steele is a second year vet student looking for a 2 week placement in the North Island. You can reach her on or 027 529 9954

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MetService Outlook - March 2024

El Nino westerlies ease for a time, with more tropical influences mid-month

A dreary start to autumn as a Southern Ocean cold front sweeps up the country and brings a burst of rain and wind to much of New Zealand as the active westerly weather pattern persists. After this front, some respite is likely as high pressure settles across the country. However, with clearing skies and lighter winds comes falling temperatures, and parts of the lower South Island could see overnight lows approaching freezing by the middle of next week.

This pattern shifts around the middle of the month as the MJO once again becomes active in our neck of the woods, which brings an increased potential for a subtropical low or two to approach the country. Peak risk is from mid-month into the third week of March, with the North Island most likely to see warmer temperatures, a potential rainmaker and an uptick in thunderstorm activity, though this is a ‘boom or bust’ situation. The South Island may see some northerly rain as well if a low can drive further south. However, if a subtropical low does not affect New Zealand, then much of the country can expect an overall drier-than-normal month.

March ends on a transitional note, as high pressure builds back across the North Island and lower pressure returns once again further south. Although El Nino is on an easing trend, its impacts will likely be felt well into autumn.

Bottom Line: An unsettled start to the month with an early season cold snap, followed by a warmer tropical influence mid-month. March ends with a more typical El Nino weather patter re-emerging across New Zealand.  

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

Singles Ad

The following appeared in the Atlanta Journal:

SINGLE FEMALE seeks male companionship. Ethnicity not important. I'm a very good looking girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cosy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. When you get home from work I'll be at the front door wearing only what nature gave me. Call (404) 555-1212 and ask for Daisy.

Over 1500 men found themselves talking to the Atlanta Humane Society about an 8-week old Labrador Retriever.

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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

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 NOW!


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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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Return to DFA Stagline Issue 197 summary >>

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