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Napier or the job war

Back home, and before coming in New Zealand, I obtained a degree in horticultural production and I would like to run my own apple orchard for making apple cider, which is very popular in the place where I live. So, one of my plan was working in apple production for afford my trip of course and learn news techniques.
Full of hope, I arrived in Napier at the beginning of December, as recommend by the Pick NZ office (, the first result appearing when you look for a seasonal job in fruit picking in NZ. Very high level of job demand for this period of the year, and after having registered myself on the website and send some emails directly to the office without receiving any concrete answer, I decided to come and see by myself. As so many other travellers… I found a city full of backpackers looking for the same thing, a job in apple thinning, the only job available at this time of the year. Most of them were, even worse, in a hostel where the manager had promised them a job if they stayed in the hostel and paid for room for a week but couldn’t give a job to everyone, so all these poor travelers were wasting their money in the meantime. Very discouraging.


Of course, the trip until Hastings for visiting the Pick NZ office and registered myself again in person was useless. The same answer, ‘we will let you know if we have any opportunities’. I started to search for orchards address on Internet and go there for meeting the manager in person and ask if there were some positions available, and send some emails at the same time. After 3 days of work, because as everywhere in the world, looking for a job, if you really want to get one, is a full time job, I received a positive answer. But the manager was looking for someone with experience with hydraladder… Hum, I could do it, I could learn something new very quickly, and I was very motivated so that worked ! The farm was located between Napier and Hastings and was also a wwoofing place. They gave me a go during the 3 first days as a wwoofer and finally they hired me. I was working 8 hours per day, 3 hours for food and accommodation, who was in a caravan with share kitchen and bathroom, and the rest was paid. The job was not very hard, apple thinning being just pick the small and bad apple and let them on the ground, so you get it quickly and can be very fast after only 3 full days of work. Of course, you must know that you go to spend 8 hours up, outside, concentrated on apples, and that could be boring sometimes. But compared to the workers that I met before, I was paid hourly and not by contract (per tree), so I had decent wages. There were other wwoofers over there so I could socialize. I worked there for 5 weeks and they offered me to come back for the harvest season. Of course I said yes, I didn’t really want to have the same bad days, care about money and job opportunities. And even if this year is a bad year for apple because of the bad summer, I met some great people and it was a great opportunity for me to learn something new in my job back home.
In conclusion, I would like to say to travellers who would like to enjoy a working experience in New Zealand to do not rely on those who say to you that they can find you a work but offer you nothing concrete and that’s always better when you do it by yourself.

Submitted by: Anne-Flore
Date submitted: 1/04/2012 10:39:18 PM

Apple grading & stacking Fri Jun 8

Grape picking Fri Jun 8

Blueberry picking Fri Jun 8

Hop work in Motueka Tue May 16

Working as an apple packer in Motueka Mon May 9

Working for free accommodation in Wellington Thu Mar 24

From working holiday visa to a resident Thu Mar 24

From the big city to the field of kiwi fruit Thu Mar 24

Working with Kiwi fruit Thu Mar 24

The Christmas rush Mon Feb 29

Packing kiwifruit in Motueka Mon Feb 29

Asparagus picking Mon Feb 29

put on your work clothes, roll up your sleeves and get out there Tue May 27


The Gorilla Hut Sun May 26

Working in sales in NZ Mon May 13

Life as an apple picker Mon May 13

Marahau Sun May 5

hanging nets at isabel vinyard Mon Mar 25

Farm stay Tue Feb 5

Berry-Picking and Ice-Cream Making Tue Dec 18

Vineyard Work in Blenheim Sun Nov 25

Working As A "Milkman" Sat Aug 4

Being an au-pair Thu Aug 2

Grape harvesting in Central Otago Thu Aug 2

Whenever Wed Jun 6

Picking up the oil in Tauranga Mon May 21

Onion grading Sat May 12

Omarama, Place of Light Tue Apr 3

Napier or the job war Sun Apr 1

Some helpful tips Wed Feb 29

Fruit picking in Central Otago Mon Feb 27

Some useful tips Thu Feb 16

Fruit picking in Motueka Wed Jan 18

Where Do We Go From Here Tue Dec 20

Picked it, Packed it, Buggered Off! Tue Dec 20

Seasonal jobs COULD change your very life as you know it Tue Dec 20

I work to live, I don’t live to work Mon Dec 19

I only had $100 to my name Sun Nov 20

Odd Jobs In Central Otago Sun Nov 20

Peach thinning working experience Sun Nov 20

The young vines were frosted over Sun Nov 20

The work found me Sun Nov 20

Working for Watties Factory Mon Oct 24

Working New Zealand from a different perspective Mon Oct 24

I had always been dreaming about coming to New Zealand Mon Oct 24

My first job in vineyards was stripping Mon Oct 24

My happiness was indescribable Tue Oct 18

Working in a Packhouse in Auckland Tue Oct 18

Working on a vineyard in Blenheim Tue Oct 18

Cycling in New Zealand not friendly Tue Oct 18

Fruit Picking Tips for New Zealand Mon Aug 22

Whale and Dolphin Watching Sat Aug 13

Cherry Picking in Central Otago Sat Aug 13

16 Argentinian people living there, it was awesome! Tue Jul 26

No one got payslips, really crazy Sat Jul 23

picked apples at first Sat Jul 23

In 18 months I have worked with kiwi fruits, apples, two epic ski seasons and a travelling carnival Sat Jul 23

cash-in-hand odd jobs Sat Jul 23

A rugby team we’ve beaten twice at the Rugby World Cup? Let’s go teasing them! Sat Jul 23

Talking to strangers about charity Sat Jul 23

Fresh out of college Sat Jul 23

Working trees for $350 per week Sat Jul 23

German Windsurf Instructor in New Zealand Sun Jul 17

Vineyard work in South Island New Zealand Sun Jul 17

We had idea, get visa, sell everything and just go to New Zealand Sun Jul 17


Wilding Pines Sun Jul 17

boss was very nice and friendly Sun May 8

Vintage in Central Otago - Working in the Wine Industry Sun May 8

Mr Apple packhouse experience Mon May 2

North Island Notes Wed Apr 20

Fruitpicking in Napier Wed Apr 20

blueberry harvest season Thu Apr 7

bbq on the beach and if you lucky see some Dolphis too Thu Apr 7

Mate! You are on fire!! Sun Mar 20

The real vineyard work lowdown Fri Mar 11

I had pretty much run out of cash Wed Mar 9

The Land of New Zealand Mon Feb 28

Work in backpackers in exchange for accommodation Sat Feb 26

heard cattle on motorbikes Fri Feb 18

Traditional Maori hangi Thu Feb 17

Fortune Fruit and spitting cherry pits competitions Tue Feb 15

When I got to Whangamata... Sat Feb 12

I could romanticize it… Tue Dec 7

I thought it sounded interesting Tue Dec 7

My New Zealand adventure :) Wed Nov 3

Well I am from Mexico... Mon Oct 25

~New Zealand has no bandits and the relaxed lifestyle is second to none~ Fri May 14

New Zealand's got cheap banks!! Mon Apr 26

Tips from Latvia...yes not Russia ;) Tue Mar 16

First Job Thinning Apples... Mon Mar 1

Damn recession! Wed Feb 10

Loving New Zealand.. Mon Feb 8

From aircrafts to vineyard work in New Zealand.. Mon Feb 8

A Czech in New Zealand.. Fri Feb 5

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