About Us

What if new technology could achieve things you didn’t even know were possible?

That’s the question we ask ourselves every day in our quest to develop new, leading edge technologies for the protein processing industry.

Milmeq’s core purpose is to enable our clients to have high quality, premium tasting product for their customers globally.

Our vision is to be recognised as a global leader in protein processing systems delivering sustainable innovation and value to our partners.

Scroll down to learn more about our company history and achievements, our brand story and values, our people and partnerships, and the career opportunities we offer.

The Milmeq Story

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In the beginning

Milmeq’s story starts long before our operations began in 1952 under the banner of Refrigeration Engineering. In fact, our story starts in Britain in the 1800s.

The Industrial Revolution presented Britain with profound social change, including a rapidly expanding urban population. New lands were sought and settled to feed the growing masses; New Zealand was one of these.

With its remote location, lush fertile land, crystal clear water and sparse population, New Zealand was perfect for pastoral stocks and became a crucial supplier of meat to fuel the workers of the Industrial Revolution.

The new land was considered a paradise in the Pacific, offering settlers the opportunity to build a new life for themselves. New migrants were surrounded by breathtaking beauty but were also presented with very real hardships.

New Zealand was isolated and had a variable climate – from subtropical in the far north to temperate climates in the south and severe alpine conditions in the mountainous areas – these challenges fostered a unique culture with the new settlers.

Such isolation required a can-do attitude and an innovative approach to daily tasks. It was said that New Zealand settlers could create or fix anything with a bit of number eight wire. This mentality has been passed down through generations and is known today as the Kiwi way.

Our company’s foundation

By the mid-1900s, primary production was firmly established as the backbone of the New Zealand economy.

As demand for New Zealand products grew, so did the need for refrigeration to transport these products to offshore markets.

In 1952 we commenced operations as Refrigeration Engineering, providing services to meet that growing need.

We have always had the ethos that it is people that make the business, and this can be seen from the very beginnings of the company. Founder William Goodfellow contemplated entering the refrigeration industry for some time, but did not have the right person to run such a business.

When he heard UK company Lightfoot Refrigeration’s top overseas agent William Engle was immigrating to New Zealand, William Goodfellow met him at the port on his arrival and eventually gave him the mandate to create a refrigeration business.

Refrigeration Engineering was a proud, family business and quickly gained a reputation for innovation and a solutions-focus. Such early solutions included design and manufacture of evaporators for blast freezing meat, which provided significant improvements in efficiency and product quality.

Through the years

The agriculture sector continues to be a significant contributor to New Zealand’s export income and for more than 60 years our company has been a support vehicle to achieve this.

Our solutions-focus and can-do approach has seen us pioneer a number of new technologies, many of which have gone on to become industry standards.

We pioneered inverted lamb processing, and in the 1970s and 1980s we led the New Zealand sheep industry’s change from the conventional to the inverted system.

Today the inverted system is recognised worldwide as resulting in superior food hygiene and reduced contamination as well as reductions in hard manual labour.

We developed plate freezing technology to extend the shelf life of meat product being exported long distances.

We have since gone on to build the world’s largest plate freezers which are used across Australasia and are becoming popular in Europe.

Our chilling and freezing retention tunnels were the first of their kind; now they are a global standard that is being copied by our competitors.

At every stage, our success has been driven by the people within the business – we have always had the best people, but moreover the best people with the right attitude.

This focus on people has extended beyond our own staff, clients and suppliers to those in the wider community.

Our company has been built on a philosophy of philanthropy and giving to charities and community groups.

We have continued to look outward, diversifying our service offering and expanding our markets. Over our long history we have had many acquisitions and steady growth, and in 2011 our company was renamed as Milmeq.

Today and beyond

Today Milmeq specialises in providing a complete design, manufacturing, installation and maintenance service for primary food processing operations, including greenfield developments around the world.

Our pioneering spirit and Kiwi ingenuity has enabled us to become industry leaders in a global market.

We continue to develop new solutions to the challenges presented within primary production, such as the Milmeq fully automated stock transfer system (MFAST) which introduces automation into the sorting, storage and retrieval of chilled and frozen product.

Our reputation for innovative thinking and delivery of top quality, reliable systems has seen us become a multi award winning company. We innovate daily, with processes and support systems that are recognised as world leading.

As we develop, people continue to be at the heart of our business.

From experienced senior staff to graduates and apprentices, the sharing of knowledge and continuous growth of our people is a core focus for Milmeq.

Looking after people is always a priority and our commitment to health and safety goes beyond maintaining the highest standards within our own workplace, with every system we develop actively designed to keep our clients safe as well.

A proud family business, we come from a strong culture of innovation and dedication to providing quality solutions to our clients.

Milmeq is proudly a block in the foundation of the New Zealand economy, but our story is, and always has been, about the people.

Join us as we continue to lead the way in engineering for the future.

The Milmeq story is built on four core pillars:


Having the best people with the right attitude is the driving force behind our success.


All of our solutions are proudly designed and manufactured in New Zealand, the small nation leading the world in primary food production.


Daily innovation is at the heart of what we do, developing unique custom solutions to help our clients achieve superior levels of performance.


Every component of every system we produce is crafted to the highest quality and backed by an industry-leading warranty.

Company History


We have a proud history of providing refrigeration and engineering services to the primary food processing industry for more than 60 years. Here are some of the milestones in our history:

1952 – We began operations in New Zealand under the name Refrigeration Engineering, providing chilling and freezing equipment to primary food producers to enable the export of their product.

Early engineering solutions included the design and manufacture of evaporators for blast freezing meat.

1955 – Business operations were expanded to include the wholesale of components for refrigeration, with an emphasis on quality stock, personal service and sound technical advice.

1960s – As our reputation grew, we were awarded a number of very large contracts for the development of greenfield plants as well as upgrades and expansions to existing plants across New Zealand.

1970s & 1980s – During this time three divisions within the company were clearly identified; industrial refrigeration systems, industrial mechanical systems and wholesale of components for commercial refrigeration and air conditioning.

1991 – We acquired the company Millers Mechanical, which added the unique engineering skillset for the design of robust processing systems for sheep and cattle.

1992 – We expanded operations into Brisbane, Australia, with the objective of marketing the range of unique engineering skills of both Refrigeration Engineering and Millers Mechanical. This operation was called Realcold Milmech.

The primary food processing market in Australia had many similarities with that of New Zealand and this facilitated rapid entry and expansion for Realcold Milmech.

1990s We developed new technologies including plate freezers and chilling and freezing tunnels to provide faster, more energy efficient chilling and freezing of meat and dairy products. Today these technologies are recognised as setting the industry standard.

1997 – Refrigeration Engineering developed the wholesale opportunity within consumables for meat processing, and this was set up as a new company, Argus Realcold, in both New Zealand and Australia. We also acquired a similar business in Australia called Refrigeration Equipment Sales (RES).

2009 – The company was restructured to divide the contracting and wholesale business units.

The wholesale business of Realcold Components (New Zealand) and RES (Australia) were merged and the new entity was named Realcold.

2011 – Our four engineering contracting business units, Realcold Industrial, Realcold Mechanical, Millers Mechanical and Realcold Milmech, were merged and our company was renamed as Milmeq.

Our People

People are at the heart of our business, and having the right people with the right attitude is the driving force behind our success.

We have more than 80 staff with a diverse range of skills and expertise, all focused on delivering the highest level of service to our clients.

Our team includes a core group of long serving staff members, who have a sound understanding of the challenges that primary food processors have been exposed to over the past few decades. We also place focus on recruiting and training junior staff, including graduate engineers and apprentices, who bring with them fresh approaches to finding solutions to current and future challenges.

Senior Leadership Team

Chester Bakkerus

Chief Executive Officer

Rebecca Mowat

Human Resources Manager

Mike Lee

International Sales & Marketing Manager

Jacky Hyslop

Health and Safety Manager

Guy Wilson

Head of Delivery

Tim Collins

Product Development Manager

Business Development Team

Mark Dunshea

New Zealand Sales Manager

Chris Carter

Australian Sales Manager

Gary Adams

Sales Manager - SRT

Asset Management Team

Ken Brogan

Senior Asset Management Engineer

Patrick Johnson

Asset Management Engineer

Adam Ryland

Asset Management Engineer


Milmeq is an agent for the following technology suppliers who provide complimentary equipment which allows us to deliver complete solutions for our clients.

Technology Partner


Starfrost is a UK-based manufacturer of IQF and Spiral tunnels for the chilling and freezing of a range of food products. Milmeq represents Starfrost technology in the Oceania region.

Technology Partner


DSI is a Denmark company specialising in vertical plate freezers which are used primarily by the seafood industry but also have application for other food products. Milmeq represents DSI technology in the Oceania region.


As an innovative New Zealand company delivering solutions globally, Milmeq offers a wide range of exciting career opportunities. With offices in Auckland, Dunedin and Brisbane, and clients around the world, a career with Milmeq provides a diverse range of challenges where no two days are the same.

We have a tight-knit team culture; our people enjoy working together to develop innovative, leading edge technologies to meet our clients’ needs. Our smaller size means plenty of opportunity for hands on involvement.

We want our people to be the best they can be, and we offer a number of opportunities for professional development and upskilling to achieve this. We have a culture of celebrating success, and the work of our team is rewarded with competitive remuneration packages including benefits such as medical insurance and an employee assistance programme.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be part of our award-winning team, find out more about current opportunities and how to apply for these below.

Project Administrator

We are looking for an experience Project Admistrator to join us in a full time role in our Auckland office.

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Health and Safety Administrator

We are looking for a part-time health and safety administrator to join us in our Dunedin office.

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​Senior Project Manager - Food Industry

We have an exciting opportunity for a project delivery leadership role based in Penrose, Auckland, with some travel.

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Meat Industry Engineers, Process Designers & Project Managers

We are growing our primary processing capabilities and are on the lookout for some new Dunedin-based team members to help us with this goal.

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Project Administrator


Delivering our projects on time, to budget and at a high quality is central to our success. To support our project delivery, we are looking for an experienced Project Administrator to join our team based in Auckland. Reporting to the Head of Delivery, this is a varied role undertaking project administration across the breadth of our projects, business process documentation and quality control as well as general administrative and office support. This role is a full time position based in our Penrose office.

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Assisting the Project Managers in coordinating project stage gate deliverables across the life cycle of the project
  • Collating and updating project schedules and planning sheets (MS Project)
  • Creating project documents and ensuring project documentation standards are maintained on all Milmeq projects
  • Coordinating information from project teams and other stakeholders including client representatives
  • Production of operational data and metrics including resource loading, work in progress, project burn rates and forecasts
  • Report preparation and general administrative support
  • Documenting workflows, SOPs, delivery templates and checklists and other quality assurance documentation (under direction of Milmeq’s Quality Manager)

Our ideal candidate will possess sound understanding of the project management life cycle through previous experience in a project-based role together with prior exposure to quality systems, data analysis and reporting. Excellent administrative skills and computer literacy, great interpersonal skills and strong time management and organisation are also key skills for this role.

To apply for this position, please send your CV and cover letter to recruitment@milmeq.com

Please note, applicants must hold the right to work in New Zealand.

Health and Safety Administrator


We are seeking a strong administrator with a passion for workplace Health and Safety to work with us in part-time role (FTE 0.6) based in our Dunedin office. Reporting to the Health and Safety Manager for Milmeq, the role of Health and Safety Administrator is a varied position working across our business with our engineers, manufacturing staff, site based installation teams and office-based staff. Our ideal candidate will have excellent administrative skills and computer literacy, great interpersonal skills with the ability to liaise with a wide range of people, strong time management and organisation and prior exposure to and understanding of workplace health and safety.

Normal hours of work will be 24 hours per week, with some room for negotiation as to times of work. Some ability to increase working hours from time to time during periods of high workload will be appreciated.

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Maintenance of Milmeq’ s Health and Safety Reporting System, Mango
  • Day to day liaison with Health and Safety reps and team managers acting as a champion for health and safety
  • Follow up incident/injury management and support with incident investigations and staff rehabilitation
  • Organising and documenting Health and Safety compliance training for all staff, company-wide
  • Organising all Health and Safety meetings and taking minutes
  • Delivering the Health and Safety Induction for new staff and contractors and maintaining induction records
  • Monitoring the library of SWMS (Safe Work Method Statements) and assisting staff where necessary in documenting these
  • Providing administrative support to the Health and Safety Manager, including assistance with board reporting

If this role sounds like you then apply to recruitment@milmeq.com.

For a confidential discussion regarding the role, please phone Jacky Hyslop, Health and Safety Manager, on 027 580 1923.

Preference will be given to candidates already located in NZ with the right to work here.

​Senior Project Manager - Food Industry


2018 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Milmeq with a number of clients in both meat and dairy looking to invest in their capital plant and engaging with Milmeq as their preferred partner. As such, we are looking to grow our project management capability with a seasoned Senior Project Manager or Project Director, preferably with a prior track record in the food industry. The position will be based in our Auckland office with some requirement to travel to our Dunedin site and to international client sites for key project meetings.

This senior role will see you leading a programme of work, directing and mentoring project teams, managing multiple delivery schedules and the commercial and contractual elements of projects, as well as having primary client interface at a senior operational level.

Key attributes we are looking for are:

  • A strong working knowledge of the operational requirements of the food industry, preferably through experience in the meat industry
  • A proven track record of delivering large scale capital projects to time, cost and performance
  • Prior experience managing programmes of work, coordinating resources and keeping multiple balls in the air
  • The ability to engage credibly with our clients, talk their language and understand their business
  • A passion for delivering top of the line solutions and for advancing technology within the food industry

Ideally we are looking for a senior project manager to join our Milmeq team in Auckland on a permanent basis, however, we are also open to discussions regarding possible contracting opportunities.

If you are keen for a confidential chat, please contact Rebecca Mowat, HR Manager, on 027 807 1533 or send your CV and cover letter through to Milmeq recruitment@milmeq.com

Meat Industry Engineers, Process Designers & Project Managers


Milmeq is looking to grow its primary processing capability with seasoned Engineers, Designers and Project Managers with prior track record in the meat industry. The Dunedin-based positions will have you working alongside our highly regarded experts leading an exciting range of opportunities from full meat processing designs and installations, value add robotics and processing modules and ongoing upgrade/optimisation projects.

Ideally we are looking for meat industry engineers or project managers to join our team on a permanent basis however we are also open to discussions regarding possible contracting opportunities.

This is an excellent opportunity for a high calibre candidate wishing to be part of a solid, reputable and go-ahead organisation.

We are seeking someone who has:

  • A strong working knowledge of the operational requirements of the meat industry, preferably through direct work experience in the meat industry
  • A background in plant engineering, process design and/or project management (we are looking for both capabilities)
  • The ability to engage credibly with our clients, talk their language and understand their businesses
  • A passion for delivering top of the line solutions to time, budget and performance and for advancing technology within the meat industry

If you are keen for a confidential chat please contact Rebecca Mowat, HR Manager on 027 807 1533 or alternatively, email your details to recruitment@milmeq.com.

To apply for this position, email recruitment@milmeq.com.