Seasonal Work

Interested in working at Sarita Orchard?

Seasonal Work at Sarita Orchard

Thank you for your interest in a Seasonal Work at Sarita Orchard. This is an as and when required position.

Sarita Orchard only produces cherries. These are harvested and packed between the 10th of December and the 28th of January. This is the only period that we require additional assistance on the orchard.

Our work is determined by the weather. If it is raining we cannot harvest until the fruit is dry again. Rain can also damage the fruit which may reduce production and job opportunities. Work may also be disrupted by mechanical breakdowns, market requirements freight restrictions and other things beyond our control. Fortunately this does not happen often.

If you gain employment at Sarita Orchard we require staff to available when the fruit is ready to pick.

We are especially busy between Christmas and New Year. Weather permitting we work every day so time off at this time is impossible. We endeavour to have Christmas Day and New Year’s Day off but this depends on the weather

Often asked questions.

What is picking? This is harvesting cherries. Applicants must be physically fit, be able to climb a 9 foot ladder and able to lift, carry and place a ladder from tree to tree and between blocks.

What are the hours of work when picking? Hours of work vary according to weather conditions. The normal day begins at 6.00am and finishes at 2.30pm. If the weathers good we work every day. Sometimes we pick in the evenings.

What do I wear? Sound foot wear that completely covers your feet, a long sleeved shirt and sun hat are essential (no sun sunglasses). Sun block is available if you don’t have your own. The weather can be changeable so prepare for some cool temperatures as well as hot temperatures.

What is the pay and how is it paid? Most pickers are payed by the number of 5kg buckets picked. This is called contract picking. The rate varies but the minimum is $4.50 per bucket plus 8% holiday pay. The minimum hourly rate is $15.75 per hour plus 8% holiday pay so you must be able to pick at least the number of buckets per hour to earn the minimum wage to retain your position. Pickers are paid on contract. (The more you pick the more you earn ).

Pay is weekly and holiday pay is also paid weekly. It is paid by direct credit so you must have a New Zealand bank account number, an IRD number and if you are not a New Zealand citizen a valid work visa.

What is packing? This is done in the Packhouse which is located at the orchard. It is sorting and grading cherries into different grades and packing into boxes, punnets and bags for export and domestic markets.

Applicants must be physically fit, well co-ordinated and able to stand for extended periods of time and have excellent concentration.

What are the hours in the Packhouse? The work is often 7 days a week. A normal day begins at 7.00am and finishes when we have completed the day’s market requirements which varies but we try to finish at 3.30pm. This is sometimes not possible so applicants must be flexible in the start and finish times daily.

What is the pay in the Packhouse and how is it paid? All packhouse work is on an hourly rate. This $15.75 per hour plus 8% holiday pay. Pay is weekly by direct credit so you need a New Zealand bank account number and IRD number and if you are not a New Zealand citizen a valid work visa.

What do I wear in the packhouse? Sound footwear that completely covers your feet, no loose clothing that could catch in machinery, no earphones, no jewellery. It can be quite cool so bring a jersey or light jacket.

Is there any accommodation at Sarita orchard? Yes but not enough for all our staff requirements. This is allocated on a first come first served basis.  We have cabins, huts and some powered and non-powered camp sites for caravans, mini vans and tents. There is a well-appointed kitchen, Bar-b-que area, good showers, clean toilets, token operated washing machines and free Wi Fi.  We do not allow parties or visitors to stay in the camp or use camp facilities.  There are courtesy vans available from local hotels and the Country club if you want to socialise. You must be 18 years of age or older.

Accommodation is paid on a weekly basis and is deducted from your wages.

You must vacate the camp by 10am on the day of departure.

What do I bring if I stay in the camp? If you are in a cabin or hut you need a sleeping bag or sheets and blankets. Everyone in the camp must bring their own cup/glass, plate, cutlery, cooking pot or pan, food and personal items as none of these are supplied.

Do I need transport? We are almost 5km from town so a car or bike is desirable. Cars must be parked on the grass area at the gate. Gates into the orchard are locked at 9pm. If you do not have transport make arrangements with us prior to arrival and we will pick you up at the bus depot.

Please apply online via the Recruitment page.

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