NZ Ready is a free online tool to help you plan your move to New Zealand, ensuring you know how things work here and have a hassle-free move. In most cases you'll need a job offer to support your work visa - so your first task will be finding a job. Learn more. If you're an entrepreneur or investor looking to create positive global impact, our new Global Impact Visa GIVs could be for you. Working on a New Zealand dairy farm might be different from what you are used to. This guide can help you prepare. This guide has information to prepare you for living and working on a New Zealand dairy farm.
Employer guide. New Zealand values migrant dairy farm workers. No matter how long you stay in New Zealand, we want you to enjoy your time working here. Because it can take time to get used to living and working in a new country, it is important that you and your family have the information and support you need, even if you are here on a temporary visa.
Working on a New Zealand dairy farm may be different from what you are used to. New Zealand dairy farms may be larger and more isolated than farms in other countries. You will have to learn to use different farm equipment. How New Zealanders communicate at work will be different too.
This guide will help you understand what it is like to work on a New Zealand dairy farm in New Zealand and where to get advice and support if you need it. It also explains some of the differences you may experience living in New Zealand.
Learn about the differences. There are almost as many dairy cows in New Zealand as there are people. The size of dairy farms can vary - the average number of cows per farm is over Some farms can have more than 1, cows.
Over 40, people are employed in the dairy industry with over 35, employed on farms. The New Zealand dairy farm will be different from what you are used to. Because of this, you may need to complete extra training, learn new ways of working or gain further qualifications. Most roles require you to have a driver licence. As well as milking cows, you will have to do many other things around the farm. For example, you may have to:. You may also be asked to fix mechanical equipment, handle powerful machines, or do welding or engineering and understand the importance of meeting environmental policy.
These are just some of the things dairy farm workers do in New Zealand. It requires physical work, skills, intelligence and initiative. To learn more about New Zealand dairy farm roles and the skills needed for each role, search for "dairy farm roles" on the Dairy NZ website. Dairy industry standard roles Dairy NZ.
Due to the weather and changing farm conditions you will need to be flexible. When you start work, there will be someone to supervise you while you gain skills and work experience.
After a while, you will be expected to make work decisions yourself and to be able to work on your own without being told what to do all the time. On a small farm you will often work alongside the farm owner. On a bigger farm you will work as part of a team. You may have a female employer or "boss" and farm workers may be male or female.
Dairy farming often requires early waking to milk the cows - this could be as early as 5am. The majority of farms will also milk cows in the afternoon. During the daytime, you can expect to do work on the farm and you will usually be given a couple hours off as your personal time. Most New Zealand dairy farms work with cows that live outside all year.
So, whatever the weather is like you will have to work outside all year too. Because we are in the southern hemisphere, our summer is between December and February and our winter is between June and August. The weather can be very different in different parts of the country. The northern regions are generally warmer than the southern regions — but not always!
If you work on a farm near the mountains it will be colder than if you work on a farm near the sea. New Zealand weather can also change very quickly. If you come from a tropical country it can be difficult to get used to our changeable climate and our cool, wet and windy weather.
If you intend to use your overseas qualification to support you to get a job on a New Zealand dairy farm, check that your qualification is recognised by the industry. This is not necessary for most roles but will help your job application. Recognition of overseas qualifications NZQA. Recognition of a qualification by Immigration New Zealand as part of applying for a residence visa is not the same as NZQA assessing whether your overseas qualification aligns with the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.
Both may be required. If you need training, you may wish to discuss support for your training needs with your employer. There are a range of options for dairy farm work. Industry Training Organisations ITOs are part of a formal system for increasing and developing skills in the workplace. ITOs arrange training and set qualification standards, and work with the industry to determine skill development needs.
Health and safety training is included within ITO training programmes. The Primary Industry Training Organisation Primary ITO offers a range of dairy farming national qualification programmes and support, including comprehensive first aid courses. The courses are delivered by a number of training providers and Primary ITO is the best place to begin your enquires.
Dairy Primary ITO. To find training courses on the careers. Search for a course or training provider careers. Speak to your employer if you think you need more training in any aspect of your work. Learning new skills and knowledge is important for dairy farm work so ask about attending farm courses and training. If accommodation is provided as part of the job on-farm accommodation , it will form part of your total salary package and rent will be deducted from your pay. Accommodation Dairy NZ.
Find out more about dairy farm jobs and what you can earn in New Zealand. Jobs database careers. Dairy farm workers in New Zealand are employed as full time workers. Full time work is usually between 30 and 40 hours a week but may be more if you agree. Dairy farm work happens every day of the year as cows need to be milked, fed and cared for.
Most dairy farm workers have a work roster that provides regular days off but these are often not in the weekend. Due to the seasonal nature of dairy farming work your hours of work can change throughout the year. For example, you can expect to work longer hours during calving in spring and shorter hours in winter. Your rights relating to your working hours and your other minimum employment rights are explained in more detail in the next section Minimum employment rights.
New Zealand has laws that protect all workers. Know your rights to ensure you are paid and treated fairly. Minimum employment rights. Your employer must treat you fairly and provide you with a written employment agreement outlining what you are entitled to. Knowing your rights will help you to settle into the workplace and avoid any potential disagreements with your employer. Your employer cannot take any action against you without a genuine or valid reason.
If they believe they have a valid reason, they must work with you in good faith and follow a fair process. You are entitled to seek independent advice and have a support person present when meeting with your employer. Fair process Employment New Zealand. The Employment New Zealand website has a lot of useful information about employee rights, including free employee learning modules. Look at these modules to learn about your rights and obligations. It is important that you find out things you may not be aware of.
The modules include links to supporting information if you need it and are available in English, Samoan, Simplified Chines, Hindi, Korean and Tagalog. Employment learning modules Employment New Zealand. In New Zealand, you have the right to join a union.
Unions support employees in the workplace. They bargain for collective employment agreements with employers and help employees with information and advice about work-related issues. There is no union representing dairy farm workers in New Zealand. You can get advice on your minimum employment rights from:.
Union Network of Migrants UNEMIG is a migrant led, non-profit and non-sectarian network of migrant workers that aims to protect the rights and welfare of migrant workers in New Zealand. Your employer must provide you with a written employment agreement stating your hours of work, what you will be paid, the leave you are entitled to and any other conditions that you and your employer have agreed to. If you and your employer later agree to any changes to your original employment agreement, for example hours of work, they must be recorded as a written variation to your employment agreement.