Share your kiwi working experience or even just your holiday tips tricks and what ever you want to say about your time in New Zealand....these stories really benefit the users our this site and as a bonus SeasonalJobs.co.nz will pay for it if it gets published!
So what are you waiting for?!
Fresh out of college
I came to New Zealand with a plan. Fresh out of college, with an agriculture/viticulture degree, and a reputation for ‘always’ being prepared, I was determined not to let New Zealand catch me off guard. Hoping to acquire a seasonal harvest position at a good winery, I submitted 400 resumes across the whole of New Zealand, both North and South Islands. I scouted out every wine related website I could get my hands on. (http://www.winejobsonline.com/ & http://www.wineindustryjobs.com.au/ are an awesome start!) Out of 400 resumes, about 20-25 responded. Although there were a few interested wineries, most were polite dismissals with urgencies to visit if I ever made it down their way. (I would like to note: every turn down I received was extremely kind and not at all clinical. Just a taste of NZ hospitality.) I was finally able to nail an offer from GisVin ltd. in Gisborne, New Zealand. Having no winery experience, I jumped at the chance. I needed the opportunity to prove myself in a winery and GisVin extended the hand. I saved the $4,000+ as recommended (required) by the NZ immigration website (http://www.immigration.govt.nz/), for US citizens. I made copies of all important documents, cards, etc. I purchased a round trip ticket, intending to return home in four months. I did everything a seasonal worker is ‘suppose’ to do.
Skipping forward 3 months: I’m currently in Waipukurau! An odd place to end up, no? After the Gisborne winery and working 12hr. night shifts, my frazzled mind needed some R & R. I felt unfulfilled, even though I had accomplished what I had set out to do. So what next? BAM. Franz Josef, that’s what. Trudging over to the ever reliable backpacerboard.co.nz, I found a ‘Tourism Assistant’ position offered at the Franz Josef Glacier Country Retreat for full board. I e-mailed without hesitation. And I got it! I ended up spending one month at the beautiful retreat serving guests, cooking breakfast and dinner, performing housekeeping duties, baking cookies, baking cakes, …and more baking! (They are incredibly nice hosts and I suggest you give them some business if you are ever in the area. They deserve it. It is a lovely place to stay.) Embarrassingly, I gained a good 3-5kg at the very least and I’m still struggling to get my winery fit body back in shape. Feeling the itch to move onward once again, I travelled to Wellington in hopes of working for Fuel Coffee. I went for an interview last week and did not get the job. Another ‘what now?’ moment arose. Surfing the backpackerboard and gap year websites once again, I found a request for ‘house elf help’. I e-mailed pronto…and not more than 2 hours later I received a response.
AND…here I am…in Waipukurau…a very content house elf indeed. I’ve since secured seasonal viticulture work in Warkworth and I’m really psyched to start in June. Three months of seasonal viticulture work will allow me to extend my visa by 3 months, for a whopping 15 month adventure in New Zealand.
I came to New Zealand with my resume in mind. Finances were one my greatest concerns, as well as how the heck I was going to navigate around a country I had never visited. Although my future in viticulture and viniculture is still of importance, it doesn’t overwhelm me like it once it. Money is no longer a fear, as I have realized there are always kind people willing to take you on in exchange for accommodation. My advice: don’t worry, don’t over-plan, talk to people, eat good food, and drink good wine. Have a goal in mind, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t work out. Don’t be surprised if something else comes along. Don’t be surprised if you get everything you never knew you wanted.
I would love to tell you more, but it is impossible to type all my thoughts out in one night. Pop over to http:///www.mywinememoirs.weebly.com for the full spiel on my adventure. Thanks for reading and I wish you luck with finding a purpose for yourself. New Zealand is the place to do it!
Submitted by: Katie Woolsey Date submitted: 23/07/2011 9:17:32 p.m.