Thousands needed to work kiwifruit industry

A new initiative has been launched to encrouage people into the kiwifruit industry. Supplied video and images.

A new initiative is being launched to attract people into the kiwifruit industry.

The NZKGI-led, Ministry for Primary Industries funded initiative has its sights on encouraging job-seekers to take up employment in the kiwifruit industry, and providing the necessary training.

It follows NZKGI’s successful winter pruning training programmes earlier this year.

MPI is investing $130,000 in the initiative. 

NZKGI Education Coordinator Di Holloway says the kiwifruit industry needs a workforce of more than 17,000 people in November.

“This initiative provides a great opportunity for New Zealanders, with free training and assistance to find jobs.

“We’re offering potential employees the opportunity to see if summer work on orchards is something for them, and offer further training to those interested.

“This opportunity may be of interest to those who have recently lost their jobs due to COVID-19, or those seeking a career change.

“Feedback from participants in the winter pruning courses was overwhelmingly positive and most went on to secure jobs in the industry.”

A one-day taster course will give job-seekers an insight into the nature of kiwifruit orchard work, which can be physically demanding.

“We hope that a large proportion of the people who undertake the one-day training will be pleasantly surprised by the variety of different jobs on offer,” says Di.

“The one-day course will offer both the theory and practical aspects of summer canopy management.”

The first part of the day is in a classroom, followed by a practical demonstration on an orchard.

Following the one-day taster, a two-day training course will be offered to those interested in pursuing the opportunity more.

“The two-day training will equip participants with the competencies required for the jobs on kiwifruit orchards all the way through to harvest in autumn.”

MPI Director Investment, Skills and Performance Cheyne Gillooly says this initiative is a great way for people to get a taste of working in the kiwifruit industry.

“Working in the kiwifruit industry can be hugely rewarding.

“We see enormous value in these types of initiatives in both introducing job-seekers to careers that they might not have considered, or might have considered and want to learn more.

“It’s a really exciting time to get into a job in the food and fibres sector and there are a range of opportunities on offer, many of which are available on the Opportunity Grows Here website.  Our food and fibres sector continues to play a huge role in New Zealand’s recovery from COVID-19.”

The courses are managed by NZKGI and funded by MPI. The first course will begin in mid-October.

New Zealand citizens or permanent residents interested in participating can register by completing the form here:

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Employment agencies should be a branch of WINZ

Posted on 07-10-2020 19:26 | By Johnney

WINZ should be actively working alongside WINZ to place people in employment. Refusing a job should equate to refusing to pay them a benefit. Might sound tough but we are too soft when it comes to dishing out tax payers money. Government likes to create fluffy schemes when the answers are staring at them in the face.

Fair deal

Posted on 07-10-2020 18:25 | By Blasta

Need to give employees a fair deal without zero hour contracts and expecting them to turn up them sending home if no work. No wonder they can’t get people!


Posted on 07-10-2020 13:12 | By overit

Can only agree with previous comments. Get these losers off the dole and doing work. Too many privileges today.

Compulsory work programs...

Posted on 07-10-2020 12:35 | By morepork

... whether in Kiwifruit, roads, construction, or anything else, are not an attractive policy. But, it is certainly true that people who are prepared to just work the system rather than actually work, do need to be identified and given warned about benefit withdrawal UNLESS they do a job for some minimum period. The trouble is that we CAN’T let people starve, and the layabouts know this. Maybe we should banish the habitual rorters to Oz or a Pacific island and let them be someone else’s problem... :-)

COVID-19 Returnees

Posted on 07-10-2020 08:03 | By The Professor

There are plenty of people returning to NZ who have not only cost the tax payer money through isolation facility fees, but are also costing the tax payer through benefits they are claiming because they don’t have jobs to come home to. Anyone refusing a job in the kiwifruit industry (or any other job for that matter) should have their benefits stopped!

Get on yer bike

Posted on 07-10-2020 08:00 | By Slim Shady

We are paying lazy people to loiter and drive about causing trouble. Wasters. You should not get benefits when there is work available.

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