New Zealand Seasonal Work Scheme

If you want to take up seasonal horticulture or viticulture work of 6 weeks or more and need support, we may be able to help through the NZ Seasonal Work Scheme.

The Seasonal Work Scheme is made up of 3 types of support:

  • support for your seasonal horticulture or viticulture work, eg:
    • daily travel to work
    • costs for clothing and work gear
    • moving costs if you have to move to take up seasonal horticulture or viticulture work
  • accommodation costs payment
  • incentive payment.

You may be able to get more than one type of support, it depends on your situation.

Information

You don't have to be on a benefit to qualify for the scheme.

  • Who can get it

    To qualify for the scheme, you must meet the general criteria below.

    If you're not sure whether you qualify, call us on 0800 559 009 to talk to us about your situation.

    Work criteria

    The work you're applying for help with needs to be seasonal work in either a horticulture or viticulture role.

    Horticulture roles could include:

    • fruit picking
    • planting
    • harvesting.

    Viticulture roles could include:

    • pruning vines
    • picking grapes
    • planting.

    Age criteria

    You need to either:

    • be aged 15 and participating in the Youth Service
    • be aged 16-64, or
    • be aged 65 and you don't qualify for NZ Super.

    Residency criteria

    You need to either:

    • be a New Zealand citizen
    • be a resident with a residence class visa
    • be recognised as a refugee or protected person, or
    • have a temporary visa that allows you to work in New Zealand and either:
      • have applied to be recognised as a refugee or protected person and are waiting on the outcome, or
      • have applied for a residence class visa and are compelled to stay in New Zealand because of unforeseen circumstances.

    You also need to be ordinarily resident in New Zealand.

    Other criteria

    We'll also take into account things like your:

    • situation
    • work history
    • work experience
    • level of skills and qualifications.

    There must be a risk that you could be unemployed for a long time. For example, if you're a student and have a short gap between study, you are not likely to qualify for the scheme.

    Accommodation costs payment

    To qualify for the accommodation costs payment you need to:

    • meet the general criteria for the scheme above
    • be taking up seasonal horticulture or viticulture work for 6 weeks or more from 15 November 2020 (can be for multiple employers in different regions)
    • temporarily move to start seasonal horticulture or viticulture work because travel between your home and your workplace is unreasonable or not possible
    • have accommodation costs in the place you're moving to, and
    • still be paying accommodation costs for your home.

    Incentive payment

    To qualify for the incentive payment, you need to:

    • meet the general criteria for the scheme above
    • be taking up seasonal horticulture or viticulture work for 6 weeks or more from 15 November 2020
    • temporarily move to start seasonal horticulture or viticulture work because travel between your home and your workplace is unreasonable or not possible, and
    • work the period agreed between you and your employer
    • not have already got the $5K to Work payment from us.
  • What you can get

    Support for your seasonal horticulture or viticulture work

    You could get:

    • help with daily transport to work
    • help to pay for clothing and work gear
    • help with moving costs if you have to move to take up seasonal horticulture or viticulture work
    • training for the job
    • pastoral care, eg, making sure you have access to local health services.

    Accommodation costs payment

    You could also get a maximum of $200 a week, for up to 13 weeks, towards accommodation costs.

    There is a maximum of $2,600 in a 52 week period.

    Incentive payment

    You could also get an incentive payment of:

    • $500 paid halfway through your work, and
    • $500 paid when your work ends.

    There is a maximum of $1,000 in a 52 week period.

  • How to apply

    To apply for any part of the NZ Seasonal Work Scheme, you can either:

    We'll talk to you about:

    • what types of support you qualify for
    • what area you're looking to work in.