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Working in NZ


The first thing you will need to do is apply for a work permit. More information about applying and whether you will be eligible can be found at On arrival in New Zealand, you will then need to get a tax number. Obtaining a tax number (IRD number). You just need a couple of pieces of identification, i.e a international passport and a birth certificate. Once these two pieces of documentation are obtained you will be able to work in New Zealand legally.

Finding work

Finding work in the main cities of New Zealand is relatively easy (New Zealand currently has the lowest unemployment rate in many years, 4%) if you are prepared to do anything or if you have a trade. Temp agencies are a good place to start. The pay rate is not the highest in the world, unskilled work will bring you about $10 - $12 NZ dollars per hour with the minimum adult pay rate at $10 per hour.

Seasonal work

There is a lot of seasonal workin New Zealand, which depending on the season, you shouldn't have to many problems getting work. The New Zealand pay rate isn't high on world standards, Around the minimum $10 per hour. But if you are a hard working picker you get paid on how much you pick. You can make reasonable money picking on contract.

Location Type of orchards Time of Year
Kerikeri Kiwi fruit Early April - Mid May
  Mandarin Late April - Mid June
Napier and Hastings Apples Mid Feb - Early May
  Stone Fruits Dec - late Feb
Nelson / Motueka Apples thinning Nov
  Apple picking Late Feb - May
Central Otago (Alexandra and Roxburgh) Apricots, nectarines, and peaches Early Jan - Late March
  Cheeries Nov - Dec
Times vary slightly from year to year dependant on environmental conditions.
Thinning is pulling apples off the tree and dropping them on the ground to allow the rest to grow larger.


Volunteer Work

There are a number of places that are looking for volunteer workers. WWOOF'ing (willing workers on organic farms) is a huge organisation and there are 100's of farms scattered throughout New Zealand looking for volunteers. Generally it involves working a few hours per day for food and accommodation.

The Department of Conservation have a list of current volunteer jobs posted on their site. Although doing volunteer work for DoC may actually cost you money, you may get to experience a unique part of New Zealand (look for jobs working on offshore islands).
You could also try

Do I need a work visa to do volunteer work? Apparently so! The government class any sort of work for gain as employment. I can only assume and hope that they have more important things to do than to chase down people working for a feed and a bed for the night, as I know the farmers will turn a blind eye.


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