Fruit Picking & Seasonal Jobs

Find seasonal jobs in New ZealandAre you looking for seasonal jobs in New Zealand? A wide variety of fruit and vegetables are grown here and at various times of the year extra staff are required to help prepare, pick and pack produce for both the domestic and international markets. This includes apple picking, grape picking, kiwifruit picking and cherry picking.

Fruit picking can be the ultimate casual, non skilled job to do in different parts of New Zealand, in fact for many backpackers it is the only type of employment they plan to do whilst here. If you want to know what type of work is available, where and at what time of the year then go to Pick NZ’s website for comprehensive maps and graphs.

 What to consider

  • Work is usually weather dependent so be prepared to go for days without work (and therefore without income) if the weather is not co-operating.
  • It is not likely that you will be able to pick fruit for a week in the Hawke’s Bay followed by a week in the Bay of Plenty. Usually you will be asked to commit to a number of weeks, possibly months, worth of work in one place.
  • You will need to have certain gear which may include protective boots, sun hat, sun screen, gloves and possibly secateurs.
  • You are likely to get paid per hour (usually close to the minimum wage) or a contract or piece meal rate. This means that you get paid per piece of fruit you pick (or vine you prune) therefore the faster you work the more you get paid.
  • The work may be very monotonous, meaning you do the same thing day after day after day. You could be working on a freezing cold morning, a super hot day, by yourself, surrounded by others, in a noisy packing shed with the sound of machinery. It could also be very physically demanding.
  •  Sometimes you will see adverts for tall strong men, or females or shorter people. Do not take it personally if you do not fit in to a category. Chances are they are trying to save your back from breaking!

 Resources for finding work:

  • Backpacker Board: check it daily as job listings can sometimes be to start immediately
  • Seasonal Jobs: Sign up for job alert emails and like their Facebook page for notification of new listings.
  • BBH have a noticeboard section and one is titled Other Work Vacancies. The off listing will pop up there.
  • Seasonal Work: click on view jobs for the latest job listings.
  • Pick NZ has a great website and the contact details of regional co-ordinators in all of the hot fruit picking spots. You can call them for up to date information about job opportunities in each region.
  • Mr Apple has over 30 orchards in the Nelson and Hawke’s Bay regions. Click on the contact us page and contact them about work opportunities.
  • Satara employ over 1,000 casual workers in the kiwifruit industry between March and September in the Bay of Plenty region.

Working Backpackers

These specialise in finding seasonal work for backpackers to New Zealand. You stay at their backpackers and pay for your accommodation and in exchange they will help place you in a job. Popular backpackers in New Zealand include:

Pay Scale

$16.50 to over $20 an hour. Often you will be paid on a piece rate system. The more you pick the more you make.

In Summary:

Be prepared for long days and hard work…be prepared to for hard work and then any improvement on that is a bonus.