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Latest News / March 18, 2022

New Zealand’s Borders Open for Kiwifruit Workers

Ever fancied being paid to work outdoors amongst New Zealand’s beautiful landscape with the nation’s iconic fruit?

New Zealand’s borders have just opened to backpackers again and the country’s kiwifruit industry is crying out for help to pick and pack it’s small, fuzzy fruit.

If you’ve ever wanted to visit New Zealand, Working Holiday Visas are available from today and the kiwifruit industry has lots of jobs up for grabs.

New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated (NZKGI) are leading the call for people to visit their beautiful country. “I strongly encourage everyone to roll up their sleeves and join the team”, says NZKGI CEO Colin Bond. “Picking is a great opportunity for those who like to be in the outdoors, while the packhouse is suited to those who like to have fun in larger teams indoors”.

New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry requires 24,000 seasonal workers for picking and packing roles. Backpackers traditionally make up around one-quarter of the workforce. This year over 190 million trays are forecast to be picked. Each tray has about 30 pieces of kiwifruit, meaning the industry needs all the help it can get.

Kiwifruit orchards start at the tip of the North Island and run all the way down the country to the top of the South Island making a great opportunity for those who want to work and travel.

Payrates are looking great too. Almost all packhouses have told NZKGI that they will be paying at least the living wage of $22.75 per hour. Kiwifruit picking is also expected to exceed the living wage with an average of $27 per hour paid last year when the minimum wage was $20 per hour. Information on job opportunities can be found on the NZKGI website or on the Facebook page KiwifruitJobsNZ.

Those who wish to travel to New Zealand on their newly granted or extended Working Holiday Visas can enter until 13 September 2022. Visas are valid for 12 months from the date of first entry. Before COVID-19, working holidaymakers accounted for about 50,000 of New Zealand’s international visitors each year.

The kiwifruit industry is one of New Zealand’s horticultural success stories, accounting for over $2.6 billion in export earnings in 2020/21 – the largest horticultural earner and rivalling other key primary produce exports.

Keen to work in the kiwifruit industry? More information here: https://www.nzkgi.org.nz/what-we-do/education/find-a-kiwifruit-job-now/.