How do I become a kiwifruit grower or find on-orchard work?
If you are a school leaver and considering a career in horticulture you may want to visit our horticultural training page. Alternatively, you can start with work experience to learn the industry from the ground up. Click here for contact details of post harvest facilities near you or contact NZKGI on 0800 232 505.
If you are looking for a change of career and would like to buy or work on an orchard, Zespri provides new growers with a ‘grower pack’ which features advice on buying and leasing as well as the services and techniques used on an orchard.
You might also want to check out NZKGI’s Kiwifruit Book which provides the latest in-depth information about the industry from all angles.
Is NZKGI part of Zespri?
No. Zespri markets New Zealand’s kiwifruit internationally, whereas NZKGI is a grower advocacy organisation that works to give growers a voice in the industry. NZKGI and Zespri do work together as required to promote kiwifruit matters, make improvements to our industry and resolve any issues that may arise.
I am concerned a grower is using sprays in the area, who do I speak to?
For any spray complaints, please contact the Bay of Plenty Regional Council on 0800 884 883 or contact NZKGI’s office on 0800 232 505. You might also want to check out the Best Practice Spraying Brochure here.
How is NZKGI involved in industry decisions?
The NZKGI Forum meets eight times a year and meetings are open to all growers. The Forum receives the latest industry information to report back to their regions and receive feedback from the wider grower base. The Forum debates issues that affect growers and form a NZKGI/grower view. These views are tabled at the meetings of the Industry Supply Group, the Industry Advisory Council, and the Zespri Board. Click here for more information about the NZKGI Forum.
I am an orchard owner - where can I find seasonal workers?
The best sources for this are:
If you wish to discuss any matters concerning staff and seasonal workers, contact NZKGI’s Labour Portfolio leader Mark Mayston . You can also visit our Labour page to see what initiatives NZKGI have in place that focus on long-term skilled labour, seasonal labour and upskilling growers.
I am an orchard owner - where can I find information about training for my staff and I?
You can head to our horticultural training page, where you will find a comprehensive list of different full-time and part-time horticultural courses available across the country.
What’s the standard procedure for buying or setting up an orchard?
If starting from scratch, you will need to contact Zespri to speak with one of their Grower Liaison Officers who will assist you with the process. It is also a good idea to speak to a horticultural consultant to help establish if the land you have is adequate for starting an orchard on.
You should contact the Zespri Grower Services team on 0800 155 355, who will send you a Zespri New Grower Pack and organise a KPIN (Kiwifruit Property Identification Number) for you and talk you through buying Shares and Variety Licences. The New Grower Pack is full of helpful resources such as a Buying Selling Leasing Guide, the latest industry publications, orchard techniques and tips. NZKGI’s ‘Kiwifruit Book’ is also an excellent resource for new growers, and it covers everything from orchard practices and budgeting, post harvest processes as well as Zespri’s role in the industry.
You also need to choose a post harvest operator to pack your fruit. For anything the grower needs help with, the Zespri Liaison Officers can help with key decisions. All post harvest operators have supply entity groups that act as a go-between you and the post harvest operator, and can assist you if you have any questions.
The process for buying an established orchard is like buying a house. However, you will still need to contact Zespri Grower Services to arrange the licensing, KPIN and shares if applicable. With an already established orchard, most of the time the existing KPIN will remain the same. There will be alternate forms you will need to fill out for licensing and shares.
Who can I talk to about Zespri’s performance?
NZKGI Grower Representatives and staff are an important contact point to discuss industry issues, pass on your views or to address any queries or concerns that you may have. If you have any concerns about Zespri’s performance, you can contact our Performance Portfolio Representatives.
How can NZKGI help me?
NZKGI helps the grower community to make key decisions and act as an advocate for the industry at government level. We are here to help growers. If you are needing guidance or support with any aspects of your orchard, our staff, Forum and Executive Committee will be able to assist you with any query you may have. Please click here to find a list of names and contact links.
Who do I contact regarding topics of worker exploitation?
We strongly condemn illegal and unscrupulous actions in the kiwifruit industry and we fully support the government taking strong action against the people responsible. In general, NZKGI believes that cases of worker exploitation are rare, isolated incidents and there is no reason that any specific group is to blame for worker exploitation. The vast majority of growers are good employers.