All three big telcos – Vodafone, Spark and 2degrees – are offering 24/7 unlimited data for urban broadband users in response to the COVID-19 lockdown forcing people to stay at home.
You can do this by phone, but having a reasonably reliable radio broadband connection I opt to do it online. (We're only 7km out of town yet there's no broadband down the phoneline, but that's another story).
First step is to create an account. Simple enough: title, name, address. The address example amuses: an apartment in Wellington. Not going to find deer or cattle there.
Next question: what type of e-mail notification do I require? Slight hesitation. Options as to which changes to my NAIT account I wish to get e-mail notification/confirmation of. Seems an unnecessary detail. I opt for all, but think a default setting with users given the option to fine-tune or opt out of e-mails at a later date would make more sense.
Congratulations. I'm now a registered "PICA". Not sure what a PICA is. I guess it's something like Person In Charge of Animals. Probably doesn't matter. Just hope they don't pre-fix it with "nose".
As a PICA, do I want to create a NAIT number? Not sure whether I should or shouldn't. Out of curiosity I click "Yes". Aha, I did need to do this. It's going to give the property a NAIT number.
Search by address. I find our place. Address is out of date – we were changed from RD4 to RD5 18 months ago but never mind – postie knows where we are.
Then a tricky one: choose production type. Well, we finished some lambs last winter, had some dairy grazers before that, and now have a bit of barley and 15 beef cattle finishing. Oh, and the goats, but they don't count because they graze for free, according to the goat people. So do I tick none, dairy, beef, venison, velvet, or trophy? Let's go for beef. No idea if that's right but it's closest.
Do we have sheep? No. Pigs? No. Other (eg goats, alpacas)? Ah. So the goats do count. Yes.
Click on continue. And wait. And wait. Could do with a pop-up saying go make cup of tea. Eventually, after several minutes waiting for "animaltrace.nait.co.nz" to respond, I get our NAIT number.
All up, about 10 minutes. Pretty painless. But then come "Mid 2012" we'll need to enter tag details of all cattle that are going to be here post July 1.
I expect that could be quite a chore if we have dairy grazers again.
Maybe those store lambs aren't so expensive after all.