DairyNZ chairman Jim van der Poel encourages farmers with an interest in leadership and governance to apply.

“This opportunity allows farmers to actively contribute to important conversations on the board, while bringing fresh perspectives and thinking to our discussions, and helping make a positive impact on the sector,” says Jim.

“Being an associate director for a sector organisation is a unique opportunity, where you are encouraged to actively engage with our sitting directors, while gaining from their expertise in a governance setting and seeing what we work across.

“Since starting the associate directors programme, we have seen many of those farmers gain other board roles, either at DairyNZ or other key organisations, and it is exciting to see what this opportunity can lead to.”

DairyNZ has an important role in representing New Zealand dairy farmers, and supporting them through a range of research, development, advocacy and extension activities.

Since associate director roles were introduced in 2013, 13 dairy farmers have contributed to board discussions, alongside the eight sitting directors.

Previous associate director Whakatāne farmer Bridie Virbickas says that being an associate director on the DairyNZ board is an opportunity she is grateful for, following her previous governance training and courses.

“The DairyNZ board was incredibly welcoming, and they genuinely appreciate the unique perspectives and insights I brought to the table,” explained Bridie.

Previous associate director Bridie Virbickas.

“It helped expand the knowledge I had gained through training, while showing how a board operates and the unique perspectives and knowledge that both farmer and independent directors bring to meetings.

“I strongly encourage others with an interest and some governance experience or training to apply. It is a great opportunity to apply your knowledge and explore the opportunities available to you.”


There is one position open to current levy-paying dairy farmers who have a proven commitment to governance and aspire to be a leader in the sector.

Associate directors are non-voting roles and are appointed for a one-year timeframe, comprising of board and sub-committee meetings. The role will commence on 1 June. A commitment of 30 days per annum and the ability to travel are required.

To apply, please send your cover letter and CV to sheree.kara@dairynz.co.nz. Applications close on 1 March 2024, with interviews to follow.

Page last updated:

7 Feb 2024


Related content


About Us

Our strategy

About Us