There are two main types of seasonal work in the Kiwi picking season; picking in the orchards or working in the pack-houses.
The usual seasonal work websites give some useful links, but can be misleading and usual have adverts to middle men or hostels. Hopefully I’ll give you some useful contacts and a better idea of how things work.
Generally pack house work is considered easier, but pays less per hour, and can involve night-shifts. Kiwi Fruit Picking, especially when picking the green fruit, tends to pay better. The pack-house work is more regular, as the fruit picking is weather dependent. Both are equally tedious.
Personally, and in the experience of my friends, pack-house work is preferable.
Applying well in advance is recommended. This is especially true if you want a good pack house job, as the pack houses fill up fast and people tend to stay in their pack house jobs for the whole season. It is not so necessary to apply in advance for the picking jobs as people are coming and going regularly.
To apply for the pack house work it is best to go round to the pack houses and ask them. They often have their own application forms for you to fill out or waiting lists they can put you on. There are some pack houses around Mount Manganui and Tauranga, which will just about be in walking distance of the hostels in those areas, but it maybe a good idea to use a car. However the main place for pack-house work is Te Puke. This will require a car, but is probably your best bet. Contact details are below.
Apply for work picking the Kiwi Fruit can be a little less direct and often involves a middle man. In my experience a backpackers hostel was the middle man, but it could be an agency, website or even friend. For some reason the details of the picking contractors are not easy to get hold of, but if you can, get hold of some phone numbers and contact them direct. The best way to acquire these phone numbers is asking people in hostels who are already in contact with a picking contractor.
If you are going to use a hostel as a middle man, as I did, The Mount Backpackers in Mount Manganui is your best bet. Just go into reception and ask. They say that you are required to stay for 2 weeks at the hostel if they find you work, but really, once you’ve signed a work contract you can leave as they are a little over priced. Harbourside Backpackers in Tauranga is also a good option.
I came to Tauranga after the season had started and tried in vain to find work before popping in the Mount Backpackers. We moved out after a week to Tauranga Harbourside, but eventually settled at Kiwi 360 in Tu Puke as it is cheaper and far closer to work. If you are on your own or in a couple, a home-stay is also a good option, simply check the notice board in New World or Pack n Save.
Colin Limmer – (02 7476 6585) – hope he doesn’t mind me putting his number on here!?
EastPack Te Puke – ((07) 573 9309)
Trevelyan – firstname.lastname@example.org
Trevelyan’s Pack and Cool Ltd.
310 No.1 Road,
Hostels that find you work:
87 Maunganui Road
Mount Maunganui, New Zealand.
Phone +64 7 575 0860