Kiwifruit has been commercially grown since the 1930s and was renamed from the Chinese gooseberry to kiwifruit as the local popularity grew.  New Zealand kiwifruit is marketed nationally and internationally by Zespri, owned by around 2,700 growers.

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Nelson / Tasman produces 3% of New Zealand’s total crop. Some of our growers have other fruits as well as kiwifruit in their orchards, so jobs can involve working with kiwifruit as well as other fruit/vegetables.

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Fruit Thinning & Canopy Maintenance

Kiwifruit vines have a major growth burst as summer starts, which means the vines must be pruned again. The pruning involves removing excess vegetation from the vine to ensure sunlight reaches the fruit. Fruit thinning is the removal of excess or damaged fruit to allow quality kiwifruit to grow.


Harvesting is when mature fruit is removed from trees. Two types of harvest roles are available – picking and packing.


With the harvest complete, vines are dormant, making it the ideal time for pruning. This is winter work, so you’ll need to rug up (at least until the sun appears and you warm up!).

Bud Thinning

Bud thinning starts in the orchards in Spring when new shoots and flower buds start to appear on the canes. You’ll be removing some of the new buds by hand to allow space for the developing fruit to grow bigger and healthier. 

Plan Your Next Step

Come and see what our industry has to offer and plan an employment and training path.

For Employers

If your work is coming to an end and you are interested in seasonal workforce redeployment please contact:

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