Rakaia Island’s biggest strength will always be the passion of our people.

Ongoing training and strong support systems provide ample opportunity to quickly progress to leadership roles within the business. Staff are from a diverse range of backgrounds and countries, and are all given the same opportunities to excel and advance at every level of the business.

Employment Opportunities

Owned and Directed by the Turner family, Rakaia Island Limited has an Advisory Board and Senior Management Team to assist with overseeing and supporting over 50 staff.


  • Dave Turner
    Dave Turner Director
  • Margaret Turner
    Margaret Turner Director
  • Helen Turner
    Helen Turner Director
  • Doug Turner
    Doug Turner Director


  • Mike Haworth
    Mike Haworth CEO
  • Athol New
    Athol New Operations Manager (Woodstock)

    Athol has had a keen interest in cows from a young age. Originally from Northland, Athol came to Canterbury in 2004 to attend Lincoln University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) degree.
    Over the next 10 years, Athol worked his way up from 2IC for Synlait Farms, to an Operations Manager role.

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  • Annabel Smith
    Annabel Smith Business Manager

    The token ‘Pom’ at Rakaia Island, Annabel emigrated to New Zealand over 10 years ago with her husband and two children.

    With a marketing and administrative background, Annabel has enjoyed working in a diverse range of businesses throughout her career.

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  • Michael Fitzsimons
    Michael Fitzsimons Management Accountant


  • Emma de Thierry
    Emma de Thierry Office Administrator
  • Brenda Montgomery
    Brenda Montgomery Accounts Assistant

    Prior to coming to Rakaia Island, Brenda was Office Manager at Hampton Engineering Ltd in Southbridge for 5 years. Brenda lives in Southbridge with her husband John and has 3 grown up sons.

  • Courtney Churstain
    Courtney Churstain Operations Support

    Courtney grew up on a dairy farm in Southland. She gained a Diploma in Agriculture at Lincoln University before going to Ara and getting a Diploma in ICT (Information Communication Technology). She is part of the calf team and office team at Rakaia Island and loves a spreadsheet and country music!


Rakaia Island has six Dairy Units and a Dairy Support Unit. Unit Managers are delegated with the responsibility for their unit; from managing staff and reaching productivity targets, to ensuring environmental compliance standards are met. Most importantly, they are responsible for the performance of their unit as a business – with the full support of the Senior Management team and the Turner family.

  • Jared Porter
    Jared Porter DAIRY 1

    Hawke’s Bay born and bred, Jared was a qualified butcher before going shearing in Hawke’s Bay. When he was 30, Jared started working on a dairy farm to help out a friend part-time for a month.

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  • Tetyana Koval
    Tetyana Koval DAIRY 2

    Tetyana is from the Ukraine. She has a Bachelor of Agronomy and has been working at Rakaia Island since 2007. Tetyana is a Unit Manager at Dairy 2 with Kosta Gupalo.

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  • Kosta Gupalo
    Kosta Gupalo DAIRY 2

    Kosta is from the Ukraine, where he worked for a gas and oil company as a Mechanical Engineer in the technical and production planning departments.

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  • Caleb Burke
    Caleb Burke DAIRY 5
  • Hayden Otten
    Hayden Otten DAIRY 6

    From 2001 Hayden worked as a Farm Assistant in Waikuku for four years, then was an Assistant Herd Manager in Rangiora.

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  • Ainsley Schoff
    Ainsley Schoff DRY STOCK (DAIRY SUPPORT)

    Ainsley first touched a cow in when she began calf rearing for Rakaia Island in 2013.

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  • Amy Christie
    Amy Christie Calf Manager

    Originally from the South West of England, Amy found herself here in New Zealand in May 2016 and after only a short time of being here decided to “give this calf rearing thing a go”. Three years later Amy has worked her way into the Calf Manager role, and for that she is grateful to Rakaia Island for the fantastic opportunity to progress within the business. In her spare time Amy teaches yoga and enjoys exploring and enjoying all that New Zealand has to offer.

  • David Kerr
    David Kerr Maintenance Manager

    Dave joined Rakaia Island in 2015. He likes the variety of his work and getting out and about working alongside a diverse group of people.

    Born and raised on the West Coast, Dave moved to Canterbury age 13.

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