The NZ Kiwifruit Industry has more than 180 million trays of green and gold kiwifruit waiting to be picked and packed in 2022.
For that, we’re going to need around 24,000 seasonal workers from March through June at orchards and packhouses in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, the Bay of Plenty, Poverty Bay, Hawke’s Bay, the lower North Island and the Tasman area.
PAY RATES: Pay rates vary depending on the employer and the nature of the seasonal role. In the 2021 season, picking roles paid an average of $28.27 per hour. Rates, however, do vary, from $22.10 to $40. These rates can be affected depending on whether you are paid hourly or on a piece rate, i.e. a rate based on how much. All workers must receive the minimum wage which as of the 1st of April 2021 is $20.00 + 8% holiday pay (to be increased to $21.10/hr as of 1st April 2022).
Most unskilled packhouse roles such as packing, start from $22.10 plus holiday pay; more skilled roles in the packhouse for trained and experienced workers can pay up to $43.50 per hour.
PROVISION FOR SENIORS: A number of kiwifruit employers have made provisions for seniors wishing to take up seasonal roles such as shorter shifts and jobsharing arrangements. Some packhouse sites also offer parking space for the growing number of “grey nomads” – retired people travelling New Zealand and open to casual working opportunities.
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS: NZ Kiwifruit Growers Inc. places a strong emphasis on worker welfare and urges anyone considering taking up a seasonal role to thoroughly familiarise themselves with their rights and check out prospective employers carefully. Anyone who experiences issues or has concerns about their employment should contact NZKGI on 0800 232 5050.