Visa criteria for the dairy trainee and dairy manager categories of the 2018 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards programme has been changed less than four weeks before entries open.

Entrants for both categories are now eligible to enter as long as they hold a valid New Zealand work visa at time of entry and at each stage of judging and have been employed fulltime for two years on a Kiwi dairy farm when entries open.

"This reflects the multicultural landscape of dairy employees," Dairy Industry Awards general manager Chris Keeping said. "We're excited by these changes and intrigued to see who will enter because of them.

"We have also removed the qualifications clause in the Dairy Trainee category — where a potential entrant could not have completed an NZQA Level 5 or higher qualification in any field of study.


"These changes acknowledge the awards programme as a learning platform where people can learn and grow, both personally and professionally. We don't want to cut out a large chunk of potential dairy trainee entrants just because of previous study."

Entries for the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards now open earlier than previously, on October 1 and close earlier on November 16, enabling entries to be finalised before the Christmas break.

Entries for the 2019 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards can be made via from October 1.