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Tips from Latvia...yes not Russia ;)

Hi everyone! I would like to share my Working Holiday experience in Kiwi Land as well.
My name is Agnese and I’m from Latvia (in case you don’t know where it is – Europe, Baltic States, between Estonia and Lithuania, with beautiful capital city called Riga; No, we aren’t part of Russia anymore and Yes, we do have our own language - Latvian). The Working Holiday Scheme with New Zealand opened only in March, 2009, so – for us it’s a pretty new thing, but I’m happy to know that more and more Latvians are applying for it and going for this lifetime adventure.

I think getting a Working Holiday Visa (if your country has such thing with NZ) is more or less the same – quite easy. You just go to Immigration Service web page – and follow instructions: fill the application form, try to persuade Immigration Service that you haven’t done bad things in past (in a meaning - testify you haven’t been in a jail or something), might need to go see a doctor and get a Temporary Entry X-ray Certificate, wait for while until Visa is approved (for me it took 2 weeks, as I have heard for others - only 3 days), save some money, get flight tickets and here you go – welcome to New Zealand. Easy – peasy, but it’s just the beginning…

Then comes all the arrangements and sometimes confusing you-need-to-do-this-and-this regarding finding a work, place to live and actually starting to work. If your financial situation allows, then I would suggest that you do some traveling first and then find a place to settle down for a while rather than doing the other way around. Sometimes you can stuck in one place for a long time and afterwards feel sorry that your precious time here in this country starts to run out, but there is still so much to see and do.

But when you start to look for a work there are two things that you should do first – get bank account and IRD number. There are many ways how can you get these 2 things (it depends if you have already a sort of ‘permanent’ place to live and 2 international ID’s – passport, international driver’s license or international ID card). I had only my passport, so I went to BNZ, gave them address of my hostel where I was staying at that moment, deposit some money, opened bank account and asked them to hand out a statement of my current address. With this statement I went to nearest Inland Revenue Service, filled application form and after 2 weeks received my IRD number. If you need to know it faster, you can call them and ask for it on the phone.

Regarding finding a work…well there is no super-duper/overall advice, sometimes it takes time, patience and determination and sometimes just a little bit of luck. So far I have worked in two places and the ways how I found them are quite opposite. I was on South Island and went to Christchurch which is the biggest city there, so it should be easy to find a work there, right? But the thing is that there are thousands of other travelers that think the same way, lots of them are heading to Christchurch for this reason. And then there are students, who look for summer jobs as well, so competition is quite high. But it depends what kind of work you are looking for and what kind of experience you already have. The main vacancies are in tourism and hospitality sector and usually they ask for experienced staff. I didn’t have any relevant experience, so it was hard for me to find anything. At the end (after some 2 weeks) I found a work as a housekeeper, but it was only a part time job, so I didn’t save lots of money. But I still had a great time and don’t have any regrets. The second work was in orchard – cherry picking. To get this work I didn’t do anything, well… except one phone call. I was heading to Alexandra to look for a fruit picking work, I called to book a bed at one of the hostels called Marj’s place. The owner – Marj started to ask me out what I’m going to do in Alexandra. I explained that I want to do a little bit of traveling first and then find a fruit picking work. And then she said that by the time I get to Alexandra she will find me work in some of orchards. And that’s how it really was – after traveling around the bottom of South Island, I went to Alexandra and was able to start work the next day. Thanks Marj. So, as you can see there are many scenarios about finding a work in New Zealand.

And there are many ways how to look for a job – job agencies, community information boards (usually in supermarkets), internet, local newspapers, just walk in and ask (must warn that sometimes it can get very depressing to hear “No, thank you. We don’t need anyone at this moment” for the 57th time), but for the best results you have to try them all.

That’s my experience so far. Now I’m in Picton looking for a job again. Nice town, but not so much work opportunities, especially when the season is starting to end. But it’s going to be great, at the end it always is. Somehow it works out. Good luck!

Submitted by: Agnese Mukstina
Date submitted: 16/03/2010 1:15:27 AM

Apple grading & stacking Fri Jun 8

Grape picking Fri Jun 8

Blueberry picking Fri Jun 8

Hop work in Motueka Tue May 16

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


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 dont 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 weve beaten twice at the Rugby World Cup? Lets 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


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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