MEET THE TEAM

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.

DIRECTORS

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

SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM

  • Mike Haworth
    Mike Haworth CEO

    Mike joined the team in February 2018 as Financial Controller and in August 2018 was appointed as the inaugural CEO of Rakaia Island Ltd.

    Born and bred in Canterbury Mike completed a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Canterbury and commenced his accountancy career at Ernst & Young. After a number of years working with a large variety of clients he moved into the private sector and commenced as Company Accountant at Lingard Labels. In 1999 Mike and his family moved to Brisbane with that company and after a merger in 2002 became CEO of Hally Labels, a trans-Tasman label manufacturer. After leaving Hally in 2009 Mike worked in a variety of senior roles in a number of industries, including 3 years as General Manager of a law firm in Brisbane CBD, before moving back to NZ in 2017.

    Mike lives in Prebbleton with his wife Jan and they have 3 sons now spread around the world, both enjoying the travel involved to see them regularly.

  • 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

SUPPORT TEAM

  • Emma de Thierry
    Emma de Thierry Office Administrator

    Emma grew up on a sheep farm outside of Invercargill before moving to Canterbury 8 years ago. She has recently completed a Commerce degree from the University of Canterbury majoring in Human Resources and Marketing. She enjoys running and most of her training involves running around after her husband and 3 children.

  • 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 was born in Taranaki and moved to Southland when she was six. Courtney has grown up on a dairy farm her whole life.

    In 2015 she went to Lincoln University to study Agriculture before going to Ara and gaining a Diploma in Information Communication Technology.

    Courtney is part of the calf team and office team at Rakaia Island. In her spare time she likes playing rugby for the Lincoln Ewes. Courtney loves a spreadsheet and country music too!

MANAGERS

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

    Caleb has grown up in rural Canterbury, he has gained experience in a variety of farming systems including sheep beef and large scale pig farming, he started dairying in 2000. Caleb joined the Rakaia Island team in 2016 as a 2IC at dairy 3, then moved to Woodstock in 2018 and has since taken on the manager role at Dairy 5 to continue his passion for farming.

  • 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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