The Big Deer Tour

The Big Deer Tour

**Please note applications are now closed for 2021**


Deer Industry New Zealand is focused on providing future rural professionals with an opportunity to get to know what the deer industry has to offer.  Deer numbers are growing in New Zealand and farmers are increasingly seeking expert assistance with integrated management decisions to improve their productivity, profitability and environmental compliance.

Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) is an industry-good, levy-funded organisation with a small, diverse team skilled in marketing, research, advocacy, communications, farm production, quality assurance and culinary development. We work with deer farmers, processors and marketers to promote a profitable and confident deer industry. Our office is based in Wellington.

Passion2Profit is a Primary Growth Partnership between the New Zealand farmed deer industry and the Ministry for Primary Industries.  Passion2Profit aims to improve the profitability of the New Zealand farmed deer industry.

The Big Deer Tour will show a small group of students the deer industry from top to bottom, it will offer participants the chance to see what makes the deer industry special and to meet professionals providing services to this sector.

Unfortunately due the Covid-19 pandemic, a tour was not possible in 2020 so we look forward to hosting in 2021.


The 2021 programme will take place from Sunday 11th April to Friday 16th April 2021. Please note, travel may be required before the tour start date to meet the start of the programme or the day after the conclusion of the tour.

Over the course of the week, selected students will spend time working with and learning from:

  • Deer Farmers to gain an appreciation for the passion that they develop for these unique animals
  • Deer researchers and scientists
  • Agricultural consultants working with deer clients
  • Venison and velvet marketing companies.

All Costs covered:

The chosen students will have costs for transport and accommodation covered. Each student will also receive a $200 allowance to cover additional expenses.


Applicants will be students studying toward completing a masters or degree in an agricultural related discipline that will lead to a qualification appropriate to employment in the agricultural sector. Deer Industry NZ will also be willing to consider individual recommendations from industry contacts.

Applicants will be selected based on:

  1. Academic grades
  2. Relevant course of study
  3. A written submission on why they would like to take part in the programme
  4. Two written references, either character or employment

Please note applicants must be able to travel during the dates of the programme.

Eligible applicants will be considered by a selection panel comprising the Passion2Profit Manager - Farm Performance and the DINZ Producer Manager. Please note that the awarding of the placement is entirely at the discretion of the selection panel. The panel will respect the confidentiality of all information provided by applicants.

Applications are now open and close on Friday the 26th March 2021. Successful applicants will be notified by Wednesday the 31th March 2021.

To apply:

Applicants must apply in writing (letter or email) explaining why they would like to take part in the programme and why they feel they would be the most suitable applicant. They must also submit their record of academic transcript along with two written references which can be character or employment related.

Completed applications should be submitted to:

Rob Aloe
Project Manager
Deer Industry New Zealand
PO Box 10702
The Terrace
Phone: 04 473 4500

This tour has been produced as part of the Passion2Profit programme, a Primary Growth Partnership co-funded by Deer Industry New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Congratulations to the following students who have been selected onto the Big Deer Tour for 2021 – Cameron Butterworth, Mikaela Carr, Zach Dewhurst, Izzy Hurst, Archie Woodhouse, Abbey Dowd, Amy Ashworth and Daniel Vaughan.

Congratulations to the following students who have been selected onto the Big Deer Tour for 2019 – George Gill, Lachie Davidson, Shannon Carden-Holdstock, Ben Orchard, Lily Cunningham, Shaun Rowe, Abagael Carden-Holdstock and Hugh Jackson.

We are proud to announce the following tourists for the Big Deer Tour 2018; Chloe Belfield, Kate Peddie, Louis Poole, Sam Pike, Jake Jarman, Jean Louise Roberts, Robyn-Maree Parkinson and Scott Higgins.

After a rigorous selection process, we are proud to announce the following tour party for 2017; James Robertson, Brianna Lee-Kelleher, Kate Stewart, Logan Bain, Henry Waller and Glen McLennan

Deer Industry New Zealand keeps in touch with those who have been on our tours and here is a selection of those who been fortunate enough to take part in the programme and what they are up to today in 2021.