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Mr Apple packhouse experience

« To keep the doctor away, eat an apple a day »!

 

Well that’s one easy thing to do when you work at Mr Apple. We had read about this company, employing over 1500 people during peak season,
on Seasonal Jobs’ website as we first arrived in New Zealand. We happily drove our way through the North Island, and when we got to Hawke’s Bay we thought we might knock on Mr Apple’s door and give it a try. As everyone else, we did want to reach South Island with a little something in our pockets. A call on Saturday and a short form filled on Monday, that’s what it took to get started on Tuesday!

 

We would work night shifts at the Whakatu Packhouse, 6 days a week, from 3.30pm to 12.30am, with two 30 minutes break amusingly called “smoko”, and would be paid 13$ per hour for 5 weeks. Doesn’t matter what your background is, as long as your back works! The Packhouse atmosphere felt warm and friendly at once. People coming to work in their bright yellow uniform shirt seemed to have arrived from every continent. Chinese people, Koreans, South Africans, Polish, Irish, others from Samoa, Tahiti, the usual Kiwis and now us French! A real international melting-pot gathered to provide the best apples to the world.

 

That being said, our manager warned us at once, it’s not an easy job, involving a lot of standing, twisting, speeding and lifting. The job consists in sorting out good apples from bad ones, placing the good apples on trays, turning them around so they are lined up and have their red side up, and all this, at the speed of lightning. The first day was a complete nightmare, we felt as if we were in hell, a place filled with apples, coming at you so fast that you got completely overwhelmed and ended up drowning beneath a sea of apples. In French, the saying “tomber dans les pommes” literally “falling into apples” means fainting, and this first day at work I thought: it must have been someone working in a Packhouse that invented that saying. Hopefully, plenty of nice people came to help us and give
us some good tips! They said that our back would be killing us for a few days, but that after a week, we wouldn’t feel any more pain. And that’s what happened.

 

As the days went by, we got better and better at handling those apples, crunchy Pink Lady apples, beautiful NZ Roses, shiny Granny Smiths but mostly funky Fujis, coming in different sizes. Sometimes, we could even handle both our apples and a conversation about the Chinese society today or Maori language with our neighbor. Speaking of languages, the Packhouse is better than school when it comes to learn foreign languages. Everybody comes to ask us some useful French
words, and we got taught a good deal of Samoa!

 

After a week, we also tried to vary activities, packing apples away by putting trays in boxes. We noticed that everyday had its share of good and bad. One day it’s pay day, one day it’s chocolate cookie for everyone, one day it’s meeting a new pal, and then another day it’s crazy speedy day when both fingers and eyes turn as red as the apples. And then you realize, it’s not sheep that you count as you go to sleep... But the good atmosphere always makes up for it, and with such a good team, it came as no surprise when everyone arrived dressed as a rabbit the day before Easter and chocolate eggs were handed out to all of us!

 

Also, no doubt that working night shifts in a Packhouse had its share of advantages: no one asks you for a degree or even if you speak English, you don’t depend on the weather to go to work and you get to enjoy the morning in beautiful Hawke’s Bay and discover plenty of nice places around Napier, Cape Kidnappers or the Te Mata Peak.

 

Here is all the info you need to have your own Mr Apple experience:

Address of the Pachouse: Station Road – Whakatu (Between Napier and Hastings)

Phone: 06 873 1061 / 06 873 1070

Email: packhousejobs@mrapplenz.biz

Seasonal work starts in February : graders , packers, tray fillers, stackers, quality controllers, packers.





Submitted by: Caroline Fullenwarth
Date submitted: 2/05/2011 8:08:39 p.m.


Working as an apple packer in Motueka Mon May 9

Working for free accommodation in Wellington Thu Mar 24

From working holiday visa to a resident Thu Mar 24

From the big city to the field of kiwi fruit Thu Mar 24

Working with Kiwi fruit Thu Mar 24

The Christmas rush Mon Feb 29

Packing kiwifruit in Motueka Mon Feb 29

Asparagus picking Mon Feb 29

put on your work clothes, roll up your sleeves and get out there Tue May 27

MY JOURNEY FROM $350/HR TO MIN WAGE: LOVING IT IN NEW ZEALAND Tue May 27

The Gorilla Hut Sun May 26

Working in sales in NZ Mon May 13

Life as an apple picker Mon May 13

Marahau Sun May 5

hanging nets at isabel vinyard Mon Mar 25

Farm stay Tue Feb 5

Berry-Picking and Ice-Cream Making Tue Dec 18

Vineyard Work in Blenheim Sun Nov 25

Working As A "Milkman" Sat Aug 4

Being an au-pair Thu Aug 2

Grape harvesting in Central Otago Thu Aug 2

Whenever Wed Jun 6

Picking up the oil in Tauranga Mon May 21

Onion grading Sat May 12

Omarama, Place of Light Tue Apr 3

Napier or the job war Sun Apr 1

Some helpful tips Wed Feb 29

Fruit picking in Central Otago Mon Feb 27

Some useful tips Thu Feb 16

Fruit picking in Motueka Wed Jan 18

Where Do We Go From Here Tue Dec 20

Picked it, Packed it, Buggered Off! Tue Dec 20

Seasonal jobs COULD change your very life as you know it Tue Dec 20

I work to live, I don’t live to work Mon Dec 19

I only had $100 to my name Sun Nov 20

Odd Jobs In Central Otago Sun Nov 20

Peach thinning working experience Sun Nov 20

The young vines were frosted over Sun Nov 20

The work found me Sun Nov 20

Working for Watties Factory Mon Oct 24

Working New Zealand from a different perspective Mon Oct 24

I had always been dreaming about coming to New Zealand Mon Oct 24

My first job in vineyards was stripping Mon Oct 24

My happiness was indescribable Tue Oct 18

Working in a Packhouse in Auckland Tue Oct 18

Working on a vineyard in Blenheim Tue Oct 18

Cycling in New Zealand not friendly Tue Oct 18

Fruit Picking Tips for New Zealand Mon Aug 22

Whale and Dolphin Watching Sat Aug 13

Cherry Picking in Central Otago Sat Aug 13

16 Argentinian people living there, it was awesome! Tue Jul 26

No one got payslips, really crazy Sat Jul 23

picked apples at first Sat Jul 23

In 18 months I have worked with kiwi fruits, apples, two epic ski seasons and a travelling carnival Sat Jul 23

cash-in-hand odd jobs Sat Jul 23

A rugby team we’ve beaten twice at the Rugby World Cup? Let’s go teasing them! Sat Jul 23

Talking to strangers about charity Sat Jul 23

Fresh out of college Sat Jul 23

Working trees for $350 per week Sat Jul 23

German Windsurf Instructor in New Zealand Sun Jul 17

Vineyard work in South Island New Zealand Sun Jul 17

We had idea, get visa, sell everything and just go to New Zealand Sun Jul 17

6 MONTHS AS A NANNY IN WAIMAI Sun Jul 17

Wilding Pines Sun Jul 17

boss was very nice and friendly Sun May 8

Vintage in Central Otago - Working in the Wine Industry Sun May 8

Mr Apple packhouse experience Mon May 2

North Island Notes Wed Apr 20

Fruitpicking in Napier Wed Apr 20

blueberry harvest season Thu Apr 7

bbq on the beach and if you lucky see some Dolphis too Thu Apr 7

Mate! You are on fire!! Sun Mar 20

The real vineyard work lowdown Fri Mar 11

I had pretty much run out of cash Wed Mar 9

The Land of New Zealand Mon Feb 28

Work in backpackers in exchange for accommodation Sat Feb 26

heard cattle on motorbikes Fri Feb 18

Traditional Maori hangi Thu Feb 17

Fortune Fruit and spitting cherry pits competitions Tue Feb 15

When I got to Whangamata... Sat Feb 12

I could romanticize it… Tue Dec 7

I thought it sounded interesting Tue Dec 7

My New Zealand adventure :) Wed Nov 3

Well I am from Mexico... Mon Oct 25

~New Zealand has no bandits and the relaxed lifestyle is second to none~ Fri May 14

New Zealand's got cheap banks!! Mon Apr 26

Tips from Latvia...yes not Russia ;) Tue Mar 16

First Job Thinning Apples... Mon Mar 1

Damn recession! Wed Feb 10

Loving New Zealand.. Mon Feb 8

From aircrafts to vineyard work in New Zealand.. Mon Feb 8

A Czech in New Zealand.. Fri Feb 5

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