Do you need help finding dairy farm staff?


Our Greenstone Recruitment team are very active in the Agricultural Industry –we have an excellent track record of over 15 years and our knowledgeable dedicated recruitment team has an in-depth understanding of the dairy industry.

We can assist in all levels of roles ranging from farm assistants to contract milkers.  The sooner you contact us regarding contract milkers and managers the better, as good candidates are in high demand.

If we can’t find the ideal staff in New Zealand, we have excellent databases of offshore skilled staff to introduce to you, including workers from South Africa, Sri Lanka, South America and the Philippines.  Furthermore, we have access to international students qualifying for New Zealand Level 2 agricultural certificates early in the new year.  We can also assist you with all the additional administrative requirements for bringing Filipino staff into New Zealand.

Given the shortage of onshore workers, the sooner you start the journey of sourcing offshore workers with us, the more certainty you will have that they will arrive on the appropriate work visa in time for the new dairy season.

Contact or 07 850 1411 or 027 239 6821 for help with your dairy farm staff.

Are you aware of all the immigration changes?

There are 3 key issues affecting dairy farm employers who employ staff on visas:

1.  Accredited Employer – action now required for most farmers

Most work visas are now processed through the new “Accredited Employer Work Visa” (AEWV).

Your existing staff, who may be on essential skills work visas may need visas renewed or you may be looking at employing new migrants.

If so, it is highly likely that you will be required to become accredited and then undertake job checks. Only then can your staff apply for visas.

There are 3 steps to hiring a migrant on the AEWV:

  • Employer Accreditation
  • Job Check
  • Visa Application

Greenstone’s recruiters and immigration advisers are proactively working with employers across the dairy sector, to get themselves ready now, so that if an existing or new staff member needs a work visa, the preparation work has been done and an application can be made without delay.

Becoming accredited is relatively easy – however, it is imperative, especially for dairy farmers, that the correct policies and checklists are put into place for the accreditation renewal process.  This factor is often overlooked by employers and will make the task of renewing accreditation that much harder in a year’s time.

Similarly, job checks are much more complicated now and need to be structured correctly to be approved.

The time to act is now. Visa processing times with Immigration New Zealand are increasing week after week and currently sit at around 7 weeks. If you are prepared, you will have the right staff at the right time to ensure productivity and avoid existing staff fatigue and burnout.

Contact our licensed advisers to find out how we can help you.

2.  Partners of work visa holders – rules change in December

In December 2022 (INZ have not stated an exact date yet) most partners of temporary migrant workers will need to qualify for an Accredited Employer Work Visa in their own right, instead of getting an open work visa based on partnership.

This is a big deal for partners of farm staff, who have always been able to get open work visas in the past. Therefore, if your staff member has a partner onshore or overseas who would like open work rights, please contact us urgently so we can get that underway before December.

3.  Green List: A great Residence option for Herd Managers and above

The excellent news for the dairy industry is that Herd Managers, Assistant Farm Managers and Farm Managers are on Tier 2 of the newly-created “Green List”- a new pathway to residence.  This is a very positive factor and should help in attracting skilled farm staff to the New Zealand dairy industry, as many other industries are not included on the Green List and the Skilled Migrant Category has not been reopened.

If these staff meet certain criteria (including having at least 3 years’ work experience on a commercial farm) they may be able to obtain Residency once they have completed 24 months of work in New Zealand in a Tier 2 Green List occupation.

Furthermore, farm staff workers with a pathway to residence via the Greenlist can support their partners for open work visas, another positive factor, given the changes to partnership visas outlined above.

Get help from a licenced adviser

The Greenstone Immigration team of 9 experienced Licenced Immigration Advisers are ready to help you and your staff.

If you’d like to start the process, please reply to and leave your name; employing entity name; and contact details.  A staff member will be in touch with you to work through your requirements.


Graydon Sharratt 

Licensed Immigration Adviser