Types of Work available in Tauranga
Kiwi Fruit Work
Kiwifruit Picking & Packing
Kiwifruit picking would normally start towards the end of March and last for 6 – 8 weeks, with kiwifruit packing starting at the same time though lasting right through to late September with repack. Currently pickers are required by our contractors, you can apply here for available picking work.
Picking requires an average of height 162 – 17cm (5’4 – 5’7), both men and women are able to do it. You should be able to carry about 25 – 30kg (55 – 66lb) in a bag carried in front of you. You should have good health with no allergies, back problems, strength and stamina. We tell people who are applying that it will take about 2 – 3 days to get used to the job, your muscles will be sore, you will feel bad, and probably you will not want to do the job. We also say you should stick with it, as based on previous experience most who get through the first few days will do well, and the potential to earn real money is there.
If you are picking Gold Kiwifruit, you will usually be paid hourly. Gold Kiwifruit must be handled carefully due to them bruising easily. It is normal for contract rate to be paid when picking Green Kiwifruit. There are many factors that can influence the amount paid for both hourly and contract rate, every orchard is different. When picking Green Kiwifruit, we have heard of people earning excellent money. The faster you pick, the more you can get.
The winter pruning of kiwifruit vines starts mid-June 1 – 2 weeks after picking finishes, and lasts for up to 12 weeks. Most contractors who employed backpackers for the kiwifruit picking season will take on backpackers looking for seasonal work in Tauranga during the winter months. Unlike picking, kiwifruit winter pruning does require some training time to learn and understand how to prune the vines. Backpackers who take the time to learn and understand the process can earn very good money, even on contract rates.
There is a period of general orchard work followed by the spring seasonal pollination and flower thinning till about November.
For those of you looking for seasonal work in Tauranga and considering coming during the winter pruning season, you should consider a few things before doing so.
You need to be 170cm (5’7) minimum or taller and reasonably fit. Be willing to learn before you earn – It does take time for your body to adjust and you to understand what you are doing. Have a commitment to work for 4 – 6 weeks employment with the contractor.
Spring Pollination & Thinning
Summer pruning and other general orchard work are available through the summer months. These include manual pollination of the kiwifruit flowers, bud thinning and summer pruning. There are also opportunities for those who are keen to work for longer hours (up to 20hrs per day) to earn very good money.
Flower & Foliage Work
We have forged strong working relationships with many growers of flowers and foliage in the Tauranga area. All are family run supplying premium quality flowers and foliage to the both the local and overseas markets.
The largest of them, having grown from a small enterprise of a few acres and a half dozen varieties to a business which today grows over 20 different products. Growing these products extends over three properties throughout the Bay of Plenty covering a total area of approx 32 hectares (80 acres). They extended the packhouse and cold store facilities to cope with current demands and expand further in the future.
Flower Picking & Packing
With a small team of full-time staff, the Packhouse Manager co-ordinates the picking and packing of all products throughout the year, contacting us just ahead of peak periods when extra staff are needed. They hire both male and female staff, although there are times when they may only need females or indeed only males.
It is possible that one day you might be working in the pack-house and the next you may be needed outside. And to be honest, if you are seen to be doing well inside you will probably stay inside all the time. Working inside can be a good thing as if you are working outside you will get to do so while it is raining. Fortunately, most wet weather gear is provided, if you do have your own, you can use them. There is work generally for 40hrs per week, and during some peak times, extra hours are available.
Our job is to ensure we send the right people as there is not the time for the full-time staff to be training new people all the time. A commitment of 4 weeks minimum is required, if you prove yourself, AND the work is available, you may be able to stay on longer. Although some of the work does require some strength, it is not hard work.
This job is some distance away from Bell Lodge so a car would be an advantage not essential as we do try to make sure we can fit you into a car. Sharing petrol costs etc. helps the driver out as well making it fair all round.
Looking for work in other areas? We here at Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers are working towards establishing links to other ‘Working Hostels’ and seasonal work opportunities available around the country.
Mr Apples Seasonal Jobs
In Spring (November and December) season there is ‘thinning’ work, involving removing some of the small developing apples by hand to allow those that are left behind to grow larger for harvest. The job is physical (but not too tough) and outdoors. It is not difficult to learn, and Mr Apples provides full training. No experience required, only a good attitude and average fitness.
Late Summer/Autumn (March, April and May) the picking season for apples. It is the busiest and most important period of the year and your best opportunity to earn good money! Picking involves selecting the ripe apples, picking them into a ‘bucket’ and transferring them to a wooden bin for transport off the orchard to our grading and packing facilities. It is a physical job but easy to learn; again Mr Apple will provide full training.
There are also other opportunities during harvest season for work in the packhouses, grading and packaging the fruit for export. Indoor work is paid by the hour and Mr Apple again provide on the job training.