There are many ways to find a rewarding career or lucrative seasonal job in the horticulture industry. There are thousands of jobs in fruit and vegetable growing, harvesting, processing, distribution, and marketing across New Zealand. Seasonal work during harvest is a great way to get a taste for the industry, learn new skills and earn good money. Explore the range of options out there for finding a job in the horticulture industry.
Among the first crops to be picked in New Zealand are summer fruit – apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, and plums.
Nearly 2,000 hectares of summer fruit thrive in the warmth of the country’s most scenic regions – Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, and Central Otago. Their cool winters and hot dry summers produce the sweetest and tastiest fruit.
Around 230 growers take great care in nurturing their trees to ensure the most delicious summer fruit reach market in top condition. Harvest takes place between November and March with December to February the peak harvest time for cherries – which make up over 80% of summer fruit exports.
Every year a small army of workers arrive on orchards to help during the harvest season and take on picking, sorting & grading, packing, machine operation, and forklift driving roles. Not all work is outside and while a good standard of fitness is useful, enthusiasm, and reliability are required.
New Zealand apple growers are producing apples for more than 100 markets around the world to meet their different preferences for size, colour, and taste. The largest regions for growing apples and pears in New Zealand are Hawke’s Bay and Nelson, followed by Central Otago, Gisborne and South Canterbury.
There is a range of roles in the apple industry during the harvest season from picking, sorting and grading, to packing, machine operation, and forklift driving. Not all work is outside and while a good standard of fitness is useful, enthusiasm and reliability are key. While some roles are being advertised now, many more will be advertised closer to peak harvest time, so keep checking the job listings.
To get in touch about roles in the Apple and Pear industry and in Hawke’s Bay email firstname.lastname@example.org
The kiwifruit industry is made up of 2,800 growers across 3,200 orchards covering nearly 13,000 hectares, which produced over 180 million trays of fruit in 2020/21.
Kiwifruit is grown in eight regions: in the Northland areas of Whangarei and Kerikeri; just south of Auckland near Pukekohe; around Cambridge in the central Waikato region; on the East Cape near Gisborne; in the orchard-intensive regions of the Bay of Plenty (BOP) and Hawke’s Bay; around Whanganui; and as far south as Nelson and Motueka at the top of the South Island.
Kiwifruit harvest starts in mid-March and goes through until the end of May with some varieties (red) and some regions (Gisborne) starting earlier than others.
To get in touch about roles in the Kiwifruit industry email email@example.com
Wine is grown and produced in over ten regions throughout New Zealand, from Northland to Central Otago. The wine industry covers 40,323 hectares, with 732 growers and 731 wineries supplying over 100 international markets. Marlborough is the largest wine region, followed by the Hawke’s Bay, Central Otago, and North Canterbury.
There will be roles in all regions for peak seasonal tasks in Spring, during harvest and vintage, and then for pruning. Harvesting and winemaking starts in February and goes through until the end of May, with pruning taking place between June and September.
To get in touch about seasonal roles in other crops grown in New Zealand email firstname.lastname@example.org
Citrus includes lemons, limes, grapefruit, oranges, and mandarins. NZ growers produce around 30,000 tonnes of citrus each year. Citrus is mainly produced in Gisborne and Northland. Harvest time is from April through to December depending on the variety. More questions about the citrus industry? Check out the answers here.
The strawberry harvest runs from Mid-September to January. Strawberry growers are primarily located in the Auckland/Waikato region, though strawberries are also grown in other regions throughout NZ. Other berries include blueberries, raspberries, and boysenberries and are grown throughout New Zealand and harvested over the summer period.
Vegetables are grown all year round in New Zealand primarily in Northland, Auckland/Waikato, Horowhenua, Tasman, and Canterbury. Some vegetables such as asparagus and peas are spring crops that are harvested from September to December. Summer crops include onions and chilli peppers. Autumn crops include varieties of squash and pumpkin, yams, and turnips. Many vegetables grow year-round including potatoes, broccoli, and kumara.
Tomatoes are grown all year round in glasshouses in New Zealand. The peak of production occurs from September to April and this is when roles picking and packing are often available. The majority of tomatoes are grown in Auckland/Waikato. Avocados are grown predominantly in Northland and the Bay of Plenty. Harvest usually starts in August and goes through until February.
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