Our People

Our people are our best asset and we’ve got some of the best when it comes teaching you the practical and theory elements of home cheesemaking and industrial production.

New Zealand Cheese School invests heavily in the quality of our trainers, who are selected for their wealth of experience and reputation in the dairy training industries in Australia and New Zealand.

“I don’t know anywhere else I could go, at least in the Southern Hemisphere, and get that broad knowledge base.”
– Jason Chesworth, Hunter Belle Cheese, NSW

“I found it really fascinating and interesting. It gave me a really good foundation for problem solving.”
– Daniel Jenkins, Kaikoura Cheese

Sue Arthur - Director & Trainer

Sue is the inspiration behind the New Zealand Cheese School. It is her passion for cheesemaking that is ultimately responsible for its establishment.

South Waikato resident Sue Arthur has been surrounded by perfect dairying conditions for more than 20 years. Her surroundings inspired a passion for dairy products that saw her traverse the nation and the globe to experience, make and sample cheese.

Determined to learn more about how to make great cheese, she was disappointed that there was very limited training available in New Zealand. While she was prepared to travel to gain her education, she wanted to make it easy for others to learn. And so in late 2007 the New Zealand Cheese School and affiliate artisan dairy company Over the Moon Dairy came into being.

Sue loves to be involved in the DIY Cheesemaker for a Day workshops. She is also a joint trainer for Setting up a Farmhouse Cheese Business, where participants learn from her in a case study of how Over the Moon Dairy and The New Zealand Cheese School came into being.

Grietje de Vries - Trainer

Grietje is a commercial cheesemaker at Over the Moon Dairy. G brings an upbeat ‘womens’ touch to our factory and her experience is also an asset to our students.

Grietje, or ‘G’, has been assisting the New Zealand Cheese School since 2009 as an employee and cheesemaker of our affiliate company, Over the Moon Dairy.

Grietje never imagined she would end up a cheese maker. “I really enjoy the science of cheesemaking and love to share my passion in my role as a practical assistant with the cheesemaking courses”. Artisan Cheesemaking and Cheesemakers Certificate.

Grietje is keen to keep working as a commercial cheesemaker and would like to try her palate at judging cheese.

Paul Fitzsimmons - Trainer

Paul Fitzsimons has a real passion for cheese and has made it his life.

He has been involved in cheese manufacture for about 35 years. He worked for many years at the Clandeboye cheese factory before moving to the Dairy Research Institute in Palmerston North.

His work as cheese technologist involved him in industry troubleshooting and product development as well as teaching/lecturing for a variety of courses within the dairy industry and Massey University.

Talbot Forest Cheese, and Paul Fitzsimons has played a prominent role in the history of several New Zealand Cheese Companies.

The realisation of a decade long dream to manufacture specialty cheese was Talbot Forest Cheese, a boutique cheese factory in Geraldine. But the dream did not finish there, he continues to dream and Talbot Forest Cheese continues to grow.

Paul also teaches a home cheesemaking course on a regular basis at a local studio.

You will be aware of the cult following that home cheesemaking has at the moment.

He also is a sought after speaker for many events, or a diverse range of audiences with subjects ranging from cheesemaking and cheese production, cheese and wine matching and tasting, general business topics and tourism.

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