Skip to content

The Waikato Region’s Dairy Sector

If Waikato is an agricultural powerhouse within New Zealand, then the Dairy Sector is the backbone.

Dairy Farming in the Waikato

More than 9,000 people are employed in the dairy industry in Waikato, making it the largest employer among the region’s primary industries. It constitutes more than 60% of regional export earnings, and more than 20% of New Zealand’s entire exports.  

A quarter of people employed within the Waikato dairy sector are on-farm. The demand for workers is forecast to increase in coming years, but technology and shifting climate adaptation demands will require a higher skilled workforce in other strategic roles.  

Similarly, the role of Agritech in supporting the development of the dairy industry will play a significant role in enabling it to capitalise on sector opportunities, particularly in improving efficiency and environmental sustainability. 

Why Waikato?

As the world’s population and food needs grow, premium producing regions will come under increasing demand.  

The Waikato dairy sector has a range of advantages that, if exploited, will enable it to grow its share of the global market. Our systems and processes are world-leading, while Waikato’s relatively small market size makes it ideal for testing technologies.  

Proven innovation and ingenuity will continue to make the region’s dairy industry more resilient, efficient and sustainable. There is high demand for both skilled and unskilled people, particularly qualified workers, with a net increase of 2,300 workers expected to be required by 2025. 


Te Waka and the Dairy Sector

Te Waka is acutely aware of the need to ensure Waikato’s dairy industry is well-equipped to adapt over time to changes in consumer preferences, changing weather patterns and regulatory shifts. Considerations such as these are discussed at our annual Agribusiness Seminar – check out our Events page for the next one

Waikato Story Highlight

Waikato dairy producers are keenly and proactively adapting to the growing need for sustainability and environmentally friendly operations. Dreamview Creamery is one such example, providing home milk deliveries in glass bottles from its farm to the town of Raglan. Find out more here