Changes made to New Zealand working holiday visas

Learn more about the Supplementary Seasonal Employer (SSE) Visa in our Horticulture and Viticulture industries


Among the first crops to be picked in New Zealand are summerfruit – apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, and plums.

Nearly 2,000 hectares of summerfruit thrive in the warmth of the country’s most scenic regions – Hawke’s Bay, the Top of the South, and Central Otago. Their cool winters and hot dry summers produce the sweetest and tastiest fruit.

Around 230 growers take great care in nurturing their trees to ensure the most delicious summerfruit reach market in top condition. Harvest takes place between November and March with December to February the peak harvest time for cherries – which make up 70% of summerfruit exports.

Every year a small army of workers arrive on orchards to help during the harvest season and take on picking, sorting & grading, packing, machine operation, and forklift driving roles. Not all work is outside and while a good standard of fitness is useful, enthusiasm, and reliability are required. While some roles are being advertised now, many more will be advertised closer to peak harvest time, so keep checking the job listings.

Because the summerfruit harvest is short and sharp with large numbers of staff employed, industry organisation Summerfruit NZ has developed an Employer Charter and Seasonal Employee Information for employers and employees to assist each party in meeting expectations and to ensure fair, agreed, and legal employment. These documents outline what employers expect from their seasonal workers, what conditions of work can be expected, and what employees should expect. There is also some general guidance, including where workers can find assistance.

Hand pick your next job here:

Horticulture seasons in New Zealand

Travel between the regions and the seasons, enjoying a true New Zealand experience of both work and play on the horticulture trail. To see the seasonal job demand for each region, click on the season icons and use the colour code below.

Horticulture season map
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Work plan for spring

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Spring Job Demand

Hawke’s Bay

Spoiled for choice in Hawke’s Bay

Wide open blue skies, rolling waves over golden sandy beaches and long hot summers make Hawke’s Bay a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re into surfing, mountain-biking, and tramping or into forest walks, wine-tasting, and sightseeing there’s something for everyone.

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No two days are the same in the Top of the South

From world class wineries, to walks, bike trails, and river sports there is plenty to see and do at the top of the South Island. With its endless hours of summer sunshine, stunning scenery, and premium wines, beers, and food to enjoy, exploring this region is a joy.

Central Otago

Experience Central Otago at your own pace

Central Otago and Queenstown attract visitors from all over the world seeking thrills and adventure no matter what time of year. Against a backdrop of huge skies, rugged landscapes, and inspiring vistas exciting new experiences or the quiet of peaceful contemplation await.

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