NZ farm jobs: Shepherd

Posted on Sep 6, 2010 in Animals & Plants & Stuff, Everyday Life

Position description: Typically these positions involve assisting the Farm Manager/Owner in all activities on the farm, usually as part of a small team. It is advantageous (but often not essential) to have your own working dogs.

Suitable candidates: These positions suit most entrants into the New Zealand Drystock industry, as they provide an opportunity to learn New Zealand farming systems under supervision. They are an ideal and necessary first step in climbing the industry “ladder”.

Activities include, amongst other things: Daily shifting of stock; Feeding out stock; tractor work; Use of 2 and 4-wheel farm motorbikes; monitoring of ewes during lambing; Basic pasture management; Basic animal health identification & treatment; Fencing; General farm maintenance work

Typical working hours: These hours vary from farm to farm and season to season. A range would be from 55 hours a week (quiet periods) to 70 hours a week (e.g. during lambing, shearing and docking).

Leave: 4 weeks a year

Typical contract period: Usually minimum of one year (or longer)

Typical salary range: $26,000 – $32,000 per annum depending on level of New Zealand & other experience


Questions for further research:

  • What are the (age, class, ethnicity, etc.) demographics of shepherds in NZ?
  • What are the labour issues connected to NZ farm work?