Rakaia Island – Canterbury, NZ


Working at Rakaia Island provides a rewarding career in the dairy industry and an excellent lifestyle. Ongoing training and strong support systems will give you opportunities to quickly progress to leadership roles within the business.

Family Owned: owned by the Turner family, Rakaia Island Limited is a large dairy farming operation in Canterbury, in the South Island of New Zealand. The business has over 50 staff and 9,000 KiwiCross cows. Six Dairy Units and a Dry Stock (Dairy Support) Unit are run as one farm, in two locations: Rakaia Island near Southbridge in Canterbury, and Woodstock near Oxford, in North Canterbury.

Shared Values: whilst there are seven Units, we are one collaborative, equal team. Rakaia Island’s culture is based on respect and putting our shared values into action every day. Learn more about working at Rakaia Island

Looking for a career in the dairy industry, not just a job?
Please fill in the Application below. You must state which Current Vacancy you are applying for, or what type of work you are interested in. For dairying work, previous large herd experience is an advantage.

The information below must be attached with your Application:
• CV – Curriculum Vitae
• Cover Letter

If you have queries, contact the Head Office: 03 324 2945 (+64 3 324 2945)
Email: office@rakaiaisland.co.nz


Attach CV* (maximum file size 3MB)

Attach Covering Letter* (maximum file size 3MB)


For dairying work with Rakaia Island, previous large herd experience is an advantage.

Office Administrator (Part-time)

We have a permanent, part-time opportunity available for an Office Administrator “Extraordinaire”. You will be the first point of contact for our staff and suppliers, so it is essential that you have an outgoing and enthusiastic personality, a can-do attitude and a great sense of humour.

You will be a multi-tasking, organisational superstar with a cheerful, welcoming manner and be proactive by nature.  You will have previous experience in an administrational role, have good problem-solving skills and be able to quickly learn how to handle a wide variety of queries.

The position involves the administration of our HR, Health & Safety, Housing, Training and Water Management and to provide general administrative assistance to the office and management team.  It is essential that you are computer savvy and have a good skill level with Microsoft Office suite.

This position is 5 days per week (approx. 32hrs) and will be based at our Southbridge office.

We offer a fun working environment, a great team spirit, competitive salary and ongoing support.

Click here for the full job description.

Applicants for this position must have NZ residency or a current valid NZ work visa.

Please submit your CV and cover letter to: annabel@rakaiaisland.co.nz

Senior Farm Manager

The Senior Farm Manager is responsible for managing the combined operation of two of the dairy units based on Rakaia Island.  These units milk a total of 2900 cows, through an existing 54 bale rotary and a brand new 70 bale rotary.  There has been significant capital investment in the new dairy which is state-of the art and supported by an in-shed feeding system. 

The Senior Farm Manager is responsible for leading a team across the two units and ensuring collaboration and best use of resources to enhance performance and productivity.  In addition to ensuring the delivery of the annual operational plan and the achievement of key performance indicators, this unique role focuses on developing the capability of the units’ people. 

The Senior Farm Manager is supported by the Operations Manager and an administration team who share Rakaia Island’s strong and supportive family values.  Rakaia Island’s culture of continuous improvement and collaboration means there is also good support across the wider business.

To succeed in this role you will:

  • Be a top dairy farmer with the technical skill to deliver excellent farm production and best practice management;
  • Have the management and leadership skill to develop people to successfully reach their potential;
  • Be an excellent communicator who can set expectations, share a vision, get people excited about what is on the horizon and hold them accountable for their actions;
  • Have experience working in large scale dairying with culturally diverse teams;
  • Be a team player, able to collaborate, build successful relationships, share knowledge and information and contribute positively to the wider business.

This is a really exciting opportunity with the possibility of growth and progression within a very successful dairy farming business.  A four bedroom home is available for the Senior Farm Manager and their family with school bus at the gate.

A full position description for this role can be viewed at www.peoplemad.co.nz/current-jobs  

To apply

If you possess the passion, drive and competency required for this role and are drawn by the opportunity to make a difference to this successful family owned New Zealand business, submit your resume and cover letter by email to info@peoplemad.co.nz . Applications close Friday 7th March.


Rakaia Island is committed to equal opportunities for all. Our policy is to ensure everyone receives the same treatment regardless of religious belief or political opinion, age, race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins), disability, employment status, sexual orientation, and involvement in union activities.

Rakaia Island

Dairy Units 1-4, and Wintering runoff. 34 full-time staff, 5,500 KiwiCross cows.

The majority of Rakaia Island’s mature cows are milked at the Rakaia Island Dairy Units.

Rakaia Island is in Canterbury, at the mouth of the Rakaia River, near Southbridge and Leeston. It is just under an hour south of Christchurch – the South Island’s largest city.

Learn more about Canterbury, Christchurch, Southbridge, Leeston.


Dairy Units 5, 6, and Dry Stock (Dairy Support) Unit. 20 full-time staff, 3000 KiwiCross cows, 2500 young stock.

The Dry Stock Unit raises replacement heifers, provides grazing and pasture for our beef cattle, plus cultivation of winter and supplementary feed.

Woodstock is in North Canterbury near Oxford, about 45 minutes northwest of Christchurch – the South Island’s largest city.

Learn more about Canterbury, Christchurch, Oxford.


All housing offered to staff is top quality and well insulated, with either solid fuel heating, log fires or heat pumps. All housing has garages or undercover parking for vehicles.
A selection of four-bedroom and two or three-bedroom houses are offered to Unit Managers and Farm Managers. Single Quarters are modern; either a shared-house facility or purpose-built accommodation; you will have your own room and en-suite, with shared lounge, kitchen/dining and laundry facilities. Calf rearers may be offered shared accommodation when available. An internet connection is supplied to all Singles Quarters, and is subsidised by Rakaia Island.
Regular house inspections are carried out in order to maintain standards – for your welfare and for asset maintenance.

Mobile Phones
Every staff member is provided with a mobile phone primarily for use on-farm.

Training & Leadership Development
Staff receive on-farm training and further education courses are offered through AgITO. Rakaia Island deducts training fees from staff wages, but on successful completion of any course, the training fee is refunded in full.

Staff Welfare
Because staff welfare is important to Rakaia Island, cooked evening meals are provided by the Cook on weekdays at the Rakaia Island dining room. During the months of calving, cooked evening meals are provided six evenings per week.
At Woodstock, the Cook provides an evening meal every Thursday and takeaway meals, prepared in the kitchen at Rakaia Island and snap-frozen, are available for staff from the Woodstock freezers on other days.

Pastoral Care
If this is your first job away from home, Rakaia Island has a caring Pastoral Manager to help you settle in, and who will help with your travel arrangements, answer any questions you may have and provide assistance e.g. purchasing bedding linen. The Pastoral Manager is available to all staff to assist with any farm asset or facility – for example, if your washing machine breaks down, should an electrical fault occur, etc. You will find the staff friendly and helpful too, so don’t be afraid to go to them with any questions or for advice.

Social Life
Staff from both Rakaia Island farms regularly get together for events such as barbecue evenings, trivia nights, an end of season dinner, Guy Fawkes and Christmas functions. Most of the functions are held in the Recreation Room at Rakaia Island (adjacent to the Office) and the Christmas get-together is usually held at Woodstock. Often staff will form teams for off-farm touch rugby, netball etc.

  • I did Ag ITO Level 5 while working… Within two years I became 2IC, in four years I became a Unit Manager - a result of support from Management.

    Sam Brar Unit Manager, Dairy 3
  • Rakaia Island is a great company to work for, with lots of progression opportunities available.

    Hayden Otten Unit Manager, Dairy 6
  • The guidance and encouragement I have received from Management is something I’m very grateful for.

    Felipe Sanhueza Unit Manager, Dairy 4
  • If you want to succeed, the team at Rakaia Island will back you 100%!

    Tetyana Koval Unit Manager, Dairy 2

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