Seasonal Work


Horticulture is a significant employer in the local economy.

Motueka also has a fish processing factory which employs large numbers of seasonal workers. Work is available at the fish factory (Talleys) at most times of the year.

Several hundred people are recruited to work in local orchards picking fruit and in the packing sheds during Autumn. (Fruit is exported all over the world). Work may also be available in Spring and Winter, pruning fruit trees and thinning the crop.

The main crops and there picking times are :

  • Pears are picked during early February.
  • Apples are picked from mid Feb / early March to mid May.
  • Hops are picked from early / mid February for 2 – 3 weeks.
  • Kiwifruit are harvested from mid May for about 2 weeks.

At fruit picking time, we welcome people from all over the world, who stay with us for short periods or the entire season.

We offer a discounted weekly rate for campers; some guests choose to sleep in tents, some in their car or van. – It is usually warm and sunny during the early part of the season. Later, it can become cooler at nights. Many of our guests choose to hire our caravans or cabins, especially later in the season. Our warm and cosy TV room becomes very popular in the evenings then.

At Fernwood we;

  • Provide a warm, welcoming and safe environment for our guests.
  • Offer help and advice to find jobs.
  • Hire out our recycled bikes at a low cost weekly rate.
  • Act as a “Poste Restante”, for letters and parcels for guests.
  • Provide advice and guidance on any other queries, or point people in the right direction, if we don’t know the answer.

Motueka is a small and friendly town, and the picking season is a major source of income for the local economy. People who come to the area to work will find the natives both helpful and friendly. - Local sports teams are always eager to recruit netballers, footballers and rugby players.

Motueka also has a long history of hosting workers from the Pacific Islands who travel to the area on short term contracts to pick fruit. Many employers have a long term relationship with workers who travel from the same villages / island each year. Because work is scarce on many of the islands, income earned in New Zealand provides a real boost to their local economies when they return home.