Alumni Biographies 2007-2008



Mike OConnor

Mike started his farming career as a farm cadet after completing a diploma in agriculture. He and his wife Andrea, moved through the ranks to 50/50 sharemilking by 1980 and purchased his own farm in 1992.

In 1996 Mike furthered his investment in farming and was a founding partner in a dairy farm conversion property in the Canterbury region. The success of this meant that additional farms were purchased and developed and Spectrum Dairies Ltd was incorporated in 2001. At its peak the Spectrum Group consisted of 12 Dairy Properties in Canterbury and a large scale grazing block in Southland. Mike has been the General Manager of the group since 2007 and played an integral part in the business growth over this period which included leading the group through a complete group restructure in 2013 to allow the exit of a principal shareholder. Mike is now the majority owner and Managing Director of the remaining Spectrum Group which consists of 7 Canterbury Dairy Farms and a majority share in a large scale dairy grazing operation in Southland.  

Mike has experience as Chairman, director and trustee for a varied range of organisations including Chairman Pokuru School Board of Trustees, Chairman NZ Large Herd’s conference committee and Chairman of Koromiko Grazing Ltd.

Mike has completed the Kelloggs Rural Leadership Programme, ASB FAME Programme, NZ Icehouse Programme and Institute of Directors Course.