Employer resources

thumbnail Hand pickedCrewVerysmlWe know that finding enough staff for the harvest season remains challenging so we are working hard with our partners to bring you a range of useful resources and information.


Get help from our national labour coordinator – Tracey Mansfield 

This season Tracey Mansfield has expanded her role from Central Otago to helping growers throughout New Zealand. Tracey's role is to help bring growers and Kiwi workers together whether it is at peak harvest or winter pruning. If you need help with your recruitment strategy Tracey can give you some tips or point you in the right direction for help.


Recruitment website 

This year we are encouraging jobseekers to check out the website where they can find information on the summerfruit industry and the regions where it is grown.

Growers and packers are encouraged to
register on the PickNZ Job Board.
PickNZ Job Board 


Good job adverts attract good staff 

And bad ones create a social media storm. Our seasonal job market is a very crowded space. To attract good staff your job advertisement needs to attract people visually and content-wise.

We've created a sample job advert to
help you produce an advert that will
stand out from the crowd.
Sample job advertisement


Seasonal work employment contract

If you haven't employed workers directly before, we have a horticulture specific template for use across the sector.

Seasonal work employment contract Click here


Seasonal worker accommodation

We have compiled a list of accommodation providers that may help solve your seasonal worker accommodation issues and attract more applicants to your vacancies. 

  • To see the range of portable cabin options for Central Otago click here.
  • To see the range of accommodation providers in Central Otago click here


New Zealand Seasonal Work Scheme

New Zealanders who have relocated (outside of your district) to work on your orchard or packhouse for six weeks or more, may be eligible for the Ministry of Social Development's (MSD) New Zealand Seasonal Work Scheme.

Click here to read about the scheme on the MSD website.

Your new employees do not need to be receiving MSD assistance to be eligible for certain components of this scheme. However, there is a process they do need to go through, and they would need confirmation of employment by the orchard or packhouse for MSD to start the travel cost to relocate for work.

What's included in the scheme?

  • Travel costs to the orchard or packhouse (eg flights, fuel and/or ferry tickets), as well as on-going daily transport costs.
  • Incentive payment of $1,000.00 to the employee. (Paid at two points – $500 halfway, then $500 on completion of employment contract.)
  • Reimbursement of accommodation costs, such as duel rentals costs.
    • For example, if an employee has a mortgage costs in their home region, but is working in Central Otago and is now incurring orchard accommodation costs; the participant may be eligible for their orchard's accommodation costs to be subsidised.
  • Costs for work clothing and gear.
  • Costs for essential training.
  • Return travel to home region, or to next region.

How to access the scheme 

To access this scheme, if you are an employer, please begin with emailing Tracey Harrison to start the process.

  • MSD require a copy of the signed employment contract to be eligible.
  • Reimbursement of travel costs are subject to weekly receipts or other eligible forms of confirmation.
  • Accommodation supplement costs are subject to proof.
  • For more details around eligibility criteria, please contact Tracey Harrison.

What about local workers?

The New Zealand Seasonal Work Scheme is also available for local workers.

  • The scheme may cover ongoing travel costs such as the daily travel costs between home and orchard/vineyard.
    • For example, if an employee lives in Cromwell, and travels to Ettrick to work each day, the cost of fuel or bus ticket may be covered here.
  • Work clothing – sunhat, good pair of boots, etc.
  • Essential training costs.
    • For example, forklift licence or a chainsaw ticket.

Depending on your staffs’ individual situations, they may be able to get more than one type of support.

Please note: If your employee is a student and having a short gap between study, they are not likely to qualify for the scheme.

For more information, please contact Tracey Harrison – MSD Regional Seasonal Coordinator.