There’s something for everyone in the Kiwifruit industry and pay rates depend on your employer and nature of the seasonal role. While picking is a peak time for kiwifruit work, there are also long-term seasonal and permanent roles available in the kiwifruit industry.
Harvesting roles (late March – June)
If you’re after a short stint in the industry, picking is a great way to stay active, get social and make money. There’s plenty of casual work on offer to pick fruit from the vines when the harvest is ready. Harvesting (picking) roles pay $23.50 per hour on average, but rates vary depending on whether they include the 8% Holiday Pay allowance and whether the pay rate is a fixed hourly rate or a piece rate, i.e. a rate based on how much crop you pick.Unskilled packhouse roles pay $17.70 per hour; more skilled roles in the packhouse pay up to $38 per hour.
Packing and processing (late March – June)
Once the kiwifruit is picked the crop must be processed and packed. Various roles are available inside the kiwifruit packhouses including grading fruit, packing, forklift and machinery operation. Shifts can be 8-12 hours and involve standing work. Generally unskilled packhouse roles pay $17.70 per hour with more trained and skilled workers earning up to $38.00 per hour.
Summer or Winter pruning / thinning roles (July – September)
Orchard maintenance roles such as summer pruning or thinning are available during and post harvest. After the harvest pruning work is required most. This work requires training and a reasonable level of physical fitness is required. These roles are often paid on piece rates meaning that those who work fast, earn more. Maintenance roles generally pay from $17.70 to $20.50 per hour.
Career opportunities – fixed-term and full-time permanent
The kiwifruit industry is a year-round business. Orchards require a fair amount of maintenance outside the harvesting and processing period to prepare the vines for the next season and the requirement for orchard workers is high at those times as well. Check out what career opportunities are available here.
Contact an approved kiwifruit employer now: