Calls to prune Deer Industry NZ
18th Mar 09, 4:00pm
Deer Industry NZ will need to substantially increase its levies within the next few years if it is to retain its current structure reports The Rural News. That's the view of Stephan Borland, Waikato branch chairman of the NZ Deer Farmers Association, who says DINZ has grown too big on the back of a venison bubble in 2002 and it needs to look at right-sizing. "˜When DINZ was set up it was a good move to have all aspects of the industry under one umbrella. But we were processing 750,000 carcasses a year and the levies from that supported an organisation the size of DINZ. "˜That figure has now dropped to around 400,000 a year "“ so I don't think there is enough revenue to support the current structure."˜When the reserve fund runs out in two years' time there won't be the money there to sustain the organisation. I'm also concerned that a lot of money is spent on things that don't have a measurable return.' DINZ chief executive Mark O'Connor is confident his organisation is on the right track and says it always looks at what it is doing. "˜DINZ was not spending to match a kill of 750,000. Production is in fact still at about 580,000, but we do expect it to drop.' DINZ's structure is not actually all that big, O'Connor says. "˜We are only seven and half people.' O'Connor says most levy investment is in promotion and productivity improvement. "˜When there are less levy funds, the question for the deer industry will be whether there should be less investment, higher levies or a combination of both. In any event, DINZ will work to minimise structural costs.