Kiwifruit Jobs available in NZ!

Keen for seasonal work or more? There’s heaps of work available in the Kiwifruit Industry. Over the next few years, orchards are expected to produce more kiwifruit and now is a great time to get involved in this awesome industry and get paid for it.

If you’ve got questions, here are answers to some FAQs around the industry.

How do I find the right kiwifruit employer?

When choosing an employer in the kiwifruit industry make sure you confirm that the employer is an approved contractor. Also make sure you check these things with them: 

  • what the pay rate is and whether it is a fixed hourly rate or a piece rate  
  • if it is a piece rate, ask for that to be explained as an average hourly rate
  • how often you will be paid and whether you will receive a payslip automatically
  • if the payrate includes or excludes 8% holiday pay and how that is paid, i.e. as part of the regular payslip or at the conclusion of the work period
  • what systems are used for notifying work requirements and how much notice is provided if work is not available
  • if workers are paid for travelling between orchards
  • whether transport or accommodation is provided.

*approved contractors are kiwifruit contractors who are registered and audited to ensure they have good standards of worker welfare.

What should I expect from my kiwifruit employer?

Employers must provide every employee with an employment agreement including:

  • The names of the employer and employee 
  • A description of the work to be performed 
  • An indication of the place of work
  • The hours of work or an indication of the hours of work (the agreement must set the maximum number of ordinary weekly hours)
  • The wage or salary payable
  • A plain explanation of how to help resolve employment relationship problems, including advice that personal grievances must be raised within 90 days
  • A statement that the employee will get (at least) time-and-a-half for working on a public holiday
  • Any other matters agreed on such as trials or probationary agreements
  • The nature of the employment – whether it is fixed-term, casual or permanent
  • The employee must be encouraged and able to seek advice on the contents of the agreement before signing

How much will I get paid?

For the 2019 season, harvesting (picking) roles are expected to 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. From 1 April 2019, the minimum wage in NZ is $17.70 per hour, before tax.  This rate applies to all employees aged 16 or over, who are either full-time, part-time, fixed-term, and/or casual, working from home and paid by wages, salary, commission or piece rates.

What breaks will I get on the job?

Employees are entitled to unpaid meal breaks (30 minutes) and paid rest breaks (normally 10-15 minutes) that are appropriate given the length of the working day or shift, and that give employees a reasonable opportunity to rest, to eat and drink and to deal with personal matters.

Are there hazards at kiwifruit workplaces? 

While the level of workplace hazards is very low in most kiwifruit operations, health and safety is still given a high priority, particularly in the packhouses where machinery is involved.

All employees must be advised of health and safety risks and protected from them through training and personal protective equipment (PPE) where required.

What are payslips and why do I need them?

Payslips verify that employees and employers have the same understanding of how the employee’s pay in made up.  Employees are entitled to request from their employer wage and time records showing the pay rate, hours worked any deductions and how the employee was paid. Employees should make sure they sign their timesheets indicating agreement on the hours worked.

What’s tax and what this have to do with my pay? 

Income earned in New Zealand will have tax deducted through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system, as well as an Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) levy which goes towards New Zealand’s insurance scheme for covering any costs involved where an employee is injured.

Your employer is not allowed to make any other deductions from your pay without your signed permission.

What do I do if I feel like I’m not being treated well? 

In the event of a dispute in the workplace, you can contact the following agencies for help:

  • Employment New Zealand – will provide free employment information but not assistance in interpreting employment agreements, legal matters or personal grievances. Tel. 0800 209 020;
  • Labour inspectors – able to assist in investigating breaches of laws relating to minimum employment conditions (e.g. holidays owed and pay). Tel. 0800 209 020 (employment complaints) or 0800 030 040 (health and safety complaints)
  •  Employment Relations Authority (ERA) – an independent organisation that helps resolve employment relationship issues. Tel. 09 970 1550;
  • Crimestoppers – for issues relating to immigration fraud or worker exploitation. Tel. 0800 55 111
  • Citizens Advice Bureau – can be contacted for a range of advice on issues affecting workers.
  • New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc. : 0800 232 505