Produced commercially since the 1930s, New Zealand kiwifruit is now a flagship crop grown by around 2,800 growers and marketed internationally by Zespri. There are many seasonal jobs available in the kiwifruit industry to suit all ages, including sorting/grading, packing, packhouse supervision and logistical support.

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Nelson/Tasman produces 3% of New Zealand’s total kiwifruit crop. Growers may make provision for older workers wishing to take up seasonal roles, including shorter shifts.

Some growers even provide parking spaces for ‘grey nomad’ motorhomes travelling the country. Working in kiwifruit is one of a number of seasonal options open to those enjoying travelling in the Top of the South. For more information on Nelson/Tasman employers offering flexible hours, accommodation, parking spots for seasonal work, check NZKGI list.

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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. Orchard roles can be more physically demanding, whereas packhouse roles can suit all ages.


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:

Top of the South Early Response Team: