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Hop work in Motueka
When looking for work in Motueka, there are a lot of options to choose from. Depending on when you arrive you can find a job in the orchards around the town center. They are plenty.
The orchards grow kiwifruit, apples, cherries, blueberries and other crops that provide work from end of winter until the late autumn months.
From the end of September until half of November I worked for Mac hops. I did mainly propagation work and some planting. Lucky for me because the spring was very wet and propagation happens inside. Which meant that during rainy days I could still work. Every day we would start at 7.30 am. Hop stems would be cut up and dipped in a rooting hormone. Then the individual stems would be planted into individual pots and cared for in the greenhouse. Those little plants, in 2 – 3 years, would then be planted out on the field. Whenever an old plant had died or did not produce enough buds, they would get replaced.
We worked with 10 people propagating and another 15 people outside, training.
During 2 weeks, in the afternoon only, half of the team would be thinning on the farms small block of kiwifruit. This was also paid hourly. There was never a day you would be bored on the job because in one day you could expect to do 3 different things.
Mac hops is a family owned farm that has been growing hops for 2 generations now.
Owners Brent and Owen share the management of the farm. Never have I met such a hard-working duo. You often find them in the shed when you arrive at 7.30 am and they will stay late to work long after you have gone. Which is understandable since the farm has just expanded with a new plot in Mapua.
Brent and Owen grow hops for Mac’s New Zealand brewery, famous for its craft beers. One of them the Hoprocker. The biggest workloads on the farm are during the spring and late summer. In October, the hops need to be trained, which is contract work. You can expect the training period to last at least 3 weeks. I did propagation which is paid $16 per hour + %8 vacation pay. Another job is planting which is also paid hourly. Then the harvest happens around the end of March. You can expect to do different jobs since there are many other tasks on the farm. For example, weeding the glass house, potting plants and sweeping the shed.
There is staff accommodation available. For $100 per week you get a room with a shared kitchen and bathroom. If you plan to camp, it costs only $50.
91 Poole street
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