A grim-sounding ad for a dairy farm assistant job in Milford has raised eyebrows at the mention there would be a drug test at the job interview - and that you'll share your room with rats.

The ad, placed in the Timaru Herald, calls for an assistant at a farm near Temuka. There is a similar ad underneath for a position in Rangitata which also mentions drug testing.

"Minimum wage pay rate, old house accommodation, drug testing at interview," the first advertisement states.

"Police vetting, no pets allowed, 3 years experience. Sometimes rodents get into the house, but only at night."


The ad calls for applicants to send in a handwritten CV. There is no phone number to contact.

Federated Farmers dairy industry group vice-chairman Chris Lewis said it might be a better idea for employers to ask job applicants to do a drug test after offering them the job.

"What he probably should have written, I suspect, is 'we do drug testing, all new employees will be drug tested before they start work'."

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said it was legal to ask a person to do a drug test at a job interview, but the applicant had to consent.

As for the rest of the advertisement, Lewis said it sounded as if the employer had had some "frustrations" in the past and was stating the job in black-and-white terms.

"We've always encouraged farmers to be mindful when you advertise to make sure you make the job seem attractive," he said.

Some commenters on Twitter said the ad made it sound as though the employer was trying to make the job sound as unappealing as possible so they could "tick a box" for Immigration NZ and then hire someone from another country.

Lewis said that "would have worked five years ago" but wouldn't now.


"They're not stupid, they're on to that. They've seen all the tricks before, let's be honest," he said.

"The way he's written that, he's just being honest and upfront and just trying to get someone local. If they wanted to employ an immigrant they would have worded it differently."