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    What about health, safety and biosecurity?

    Health, safety and biosecurity shouldn’t stand in your way. On the contrary, taking the time to apply common sense measures will give you the confidence to present your farming story with peace of mind.

    We worked with government and industry representatives to produce a full, easy-to-use guide to managing health, safety and biosecurity for your event. This includes:

    • Your ‘reasonably practicable’ responsibility as an event host (we’ll explain what that means…)
    • A step-by-step guide to completing your Open Farms event risk assessment
    • Practical tips for a safe event
    • Human health and on-farm biosecurity guidelines
    • An all up Health, Safety and Biosecurity checklist
    • An example risk assessment

    You can find most of the health, safety and biosecurity guidelines right here. The full version is in the Open Farms Host Handbook.

    Is there a fee to host an Open Farms event?

    No. All Open Farms resources and support is also free upon registration. It’s also free for visitors to attend an Open Farms event (although fundraising is encouraged, you can read more about that in the Open Farms Host Handbook).

    What is the host registration process?
    1. Post your event description. You’ll add a short introduction of your farm and the event you intend to run, select some activity options, upload a cover image and set your visitor numbers. It’s important to remember that you can log back into download your visitor manifesto, or ask the Open Farms team to update your event profile. Your first go at the event description doesn’t have to be perfect, just make a start!
    2. Register your contact details to get a Farmer login.
    3. Download the host handbook and ask any questions of the team.
    4. Get planning and update your event description through to the big day!
    What are the requirements to be an Open Farms Host?
    • Adhere to the Open Farms Code of Conduct
    • Agree to the Open Farms Host Terms & Conditions
    • Agree to inform your insurance company and check your Public Liability and Statutory Liability coverage
    • Complete a Health, Safety & Biosecurity Risk Assessment and run a safe event
    When do I get the Open Farms Host Handbook and what does it cover?

    You’ll be able to download a copy of the Open Farms Host Handbook once you register your event. You can also access most of handbook – host or not – before you sign-up by visiting the Hosting 101 page. The handbook includes:


    • Event hosting basics
    • Using the Open Farms website event system
    • The big 5 planning questions (event format, visitor numbers, volunteers, insurance, health & safety)
    • It’s all in the details…  (e.g. parking, food)
    • Activity ideas
    • Health, safety & biosecurity
    • Tips on presenting your farming story
    • Security & managing tough situations guidance
    • A full Open Farms event checklist
    • Contact details and where to get more support
    • An example Health, Safety & Biosecurity risk assessment
    Can I choose when to host my Open Farms event?

    All Open Farms events will take place on the same day. We know that won’t work for everyone, but we made this decision to maximise the momentum, social media presence and publicity of thousands of Kiwis simultaneously heading out onto farms.

    How many visitors should I invite?

    As many as you like. There is no one-size-fits-all format for Open Farms events and you set your own visitor numbers in your event description. There are some considerations around numbers (e.g. planning for 50% no-shows) which we cover in the Open Farms Host Handbook and right here.

    We think that most basic Open Farm events could host around 200 people over the course of the day and have set the minimum number of registered visitors at 75 (expecting about 35 to turn up on the day).

    What about bad weather on-the-day?

    We’ve ordered good weather for the day, so there’s nothing to worry about…

    Should that not work out, make wet-weather plans to bring activities under cover where possible. It’s unlikely that we’ll run a rain-day alternative date.

    Should I involve others in my event?

    Absolutely! Volunteers and helpers make a big difference. We cover off how to recruit and manage volunteers in the Open Farms Host Handbook and right here.

    What about insurance?

    We only have a few host requirements – confirming your Public Liability and Statutory Liability coverage with your insurer is one of them. We have some information to help you have that conversation in the Open Farms Host Handbook and right here.

    Will I have to do any marketing?

    We built Open Farms to take as much of the marketing & registration pressure off our hosts as possible. You just focus on planning your event and telling your story, we’ll get visitors there through a centralised marketing campaign kicking off in mid-January.

    That said, we welcome and encourage any marketing you want to do yourself – this is particularly important any farms more than 1 hour from a major urban centre. We include some guidelines on local marketing in the Open Farms Host Handbook and will provide you with some resources (e.g. posters) to help.

    What should I show people?

    We include a full list of activity and presentation ideas right here and in the Open Farms Host Handbook. You’ll be surprised at how every-day things on-the-farm will really resonate with your visitors, after all 20% of them have NEVER visited a farm (*based on Open Farms post-event survey 2021).

    What if I get hard questions that I don’t want to answer? What if protestors turn up?

    Fair question and we understand that opening up the farm will take a bit of a leap of faith. But we believe it’s important for all Kiwis to talk honestly about our land, food and farming. We’re all connected to the food system and we’ve got to work from a place of shared truth – even that’s a bit hard or uncomfortable at first.

    To help you get there, we provide some guidelines on how to handle tough questions in the Open Farms Host Handbook and right here. We’ve also produced this video to help you put our constructive conversation principles into action.

    We’re also fully committed to working constructively with food system advocates. We built Open Farms for all of us and all Kiwis should get a fair say in our national food & farming story. We hope to have more to share on this soon.

    Can I get support in addition to the Host Handbook?

    Absolutely, we’re always available to talk and will be linking hosts together to share ideas and help each other out.