Seasonal work

We have thousands of seasonal jobs in New Zealand right now - jobs on farms, forests, orchards, packhouses, vineyards and in tourist hotspots.

Look for seasonal work on the PickNZ website or text 'jobs' to 226.

Seasonal work can be a good option for a wide range of people looking to get back into work. With seasonal work you can:

  • learn new skills
  • get work experience
  • be active and fit
  • meet new people
  • gain confidence
  • earn good money.

It's worth coming off the benefit to work even for a little while. Work's better for your health and better for your family. You may get a permanent job out of seasonal work or move into other types of work using your new skills and experience. Some people end up working most of the year. While you're working we may be able to give you extra financial help.

  • What skills are needed

    Often you won't need any extra skills or experience - just the right attitude. But if you do, we can talk with you about how you might get the right skills and experience.

  • How much will I earn

    How much you earn depends on your employer and the job. Some jobs are paid by the hour and others by a contract rate (like a set amount for picking a bin of apples). To give you a rough idea, if you worked 30 hours a week picking fruit or vegetables you could earn around $600 before tax a week, or more.

  • How do I find the work

    Talk to us as we're keen to help you find work.

    Steps you can take are:

    • go to the PickNZ website where you can:
      • explore thousands of seasonal work opportunities
      • choose from a range of online courses and learn valuable new skills
      • read the latest blog posts with handy advice
    • read the local newspapers
    • look on job websites and those of potential employers
    • check community or supermarket notice boards
    • visit your nearest Work and Income office
    • find employers online or in the yellow pages and visit them, for example local orchards or packing sheds
    • ask friends or family
    • use social media to tell people you're looking for work, including seasonal jobs.

    You may need to move to get the work. Often you can get accommodation at orchards (some offer housing for families) or stay in nearby motor camps.

  • When you find work

    If you're getting a benefit you need to tell us straight away about any paid work you are doing, including part-time or short-term work. If you work full time, your benefit may stop, depending on your circumstances - but you may be able to get it again as soon as your job ends. If you work part time, you can earn some income before your main benefit is affected. Other support you get from us may be affected, so please ask us for details.

    If you can't so you seasonal work because of problems like bad weather, or your employer wants you to work fewer hours, let us know. You may be able to get some of your benefit, or get Seasonal Work Assistance payments while you're not working.

    We may also be able to help with living expenses, budgeting, and paying for childcare.

  • When your job ends

    Make sure you tell us as soon as your job ends.

    We'll sort out your benefit and talk about next steps in your job search.

  • Seasonal work around the country

    If you need to travel to get to a seasonal job, talk with us about how we may be able to help with your extra costs.

    To find out where and when you can do seasonal work for fruit and vegetables around New Zealand, including peak times for crops, select the link below.

    To find out about other seasonal work, check the table below.

    What type of work? When? Where?
    Vineyards Often something available all year round

    East Coast, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury, Otago

    Forestry All year round, particularly autumn Northland, East Coast, Hawkes Bay, Central North Island, Wairarapa, Otago, Southland
    Dairy industry Almost year round Waikato, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, Central North Island, Manawatu, Horowhenua, Wairarapa, South Canterbury, Otago, Southland
    Freezing works, meat processing October to May
    July to August
    Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Horowhenua, Manawatu, Wairarapa, South Canterbury, Otago, Southland
    Lambing and shearing gang work March to May
    September to February
    August to November (lambing)
    Waikato, Taranaki, Central North Island, Manawatu, Wairarapa, Marlborough, South Canterbury, Otago, Southland
    Fisheries/seafood June to September Northland, Hawkes Bay, Nelson/West Coast, South Canterbury, Southland
    Ski-related work on skifields and in local towns June to September Central Plateau, Marlborough, Mid Canterbury, Central Otago
    Tourism work - everything from waiting tables to being a tour guide November to February
    June to September
    (ski resorts)
    Resort and tourist towns such as Paihia, Taupo, Rotorua, Queenstown, Te Anau

    This is a general guide as seasons vary from place to place.