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New Zealand's got cheap banks!!

Hi, my name is Jan Mencner and I am from the Czech Republic.We decided with my girlfriend Nela to explore New Zealand, becouse, according to us, it’s very amazing country with beautiful nature and nice people…

We departed from the Czech republic in october 2009 and we made one month trip in Thailand. After arrival we had booked the Ponsonby Backpacker. We have used the shuffle bus from airport, which can take you door to door for one-time fee 25 dollars per person.

I was trying to choose my bank thorougly for couple of days and finally the ANZ bank won, becouse this bank has the biggest network of branches and cashmachines. You pay only 5 dollars monthly fee and that’s it! No further fees! It is something unimaginable in the Czech republic! Great

Next step was to buy a car. We made a big trip (it was more like Great Walk) around Auckland to get some good reliable car (not a lemon, like couple of our friends) – but everything was so old with scary milage and for big money! Crazy! Finally we’ve been saved by carmarket in Elerslie. We were trying to find something good from early morning, but we were disappointed until noon – in this moment we were approached by one car tout that he apparently has good van exactly for us.

This perfect car was Nissan Serena 2.0 petrol 4WD, but there wasn´t a bed – but we´ve been told by seller it is not a problem to do it – so we had to wait until next day…. We checked the car and we did the test drive – everything seemed to be alright so we paid a deposit. The seller brought us our new Nissan next day to a backpacker, already with bulit-in bed inside.

Today, 6 months later, i have to say the car is still awesome – there weren´t any problems! So, great technical condition, 1995, 3rd owner for 4.000 bucks! However we got a lesson – november is the worst month to buy a car – becouse everything is so expensive and only few cars on sale!

After one week what we have spent in Ackland we scooped direction to Hastings. We were expecting ubiquitous signs: We need workers! – but we were disappointed. There was nothing! We were trying to call everywhere and we have tried to find something on internet as well… So, finally we found a job on Mr. Apple´s orchard in Waipawa. We have been thinning apples – it was pretty good job, we´ve been living in comapny´s camp in orchard (by the way, the camp is awesome!) and we got quite well paid… We´ve been satisfied anyway

Closely to x-mass thinning was terminated and we went to the north… We were wondering about that long time, becouse everybody wanted to go to the south island – and we (we – it means me, Nela and our new fried Tomas from camp) went to the north paradoxically, because it seemed to us can be crowded there on the south island…

We started to work in Kerikeri in the middle of January and we´ve been thinning kiwifruits – i must recommend this, it is cool job You are in the shade all day under the kiwifruit bush – and – you don´t have to use the ladder!!

We returned to Waipawa in early March – there was starting the apple picking. We´ve been working for hourly wage first week and everything was fine. But next couple of weeks were crazy! We´ve been paid only for count of bins we have done, and there were a days, when we have done only one bin for 40 bucks, becouse there were no apples!! It was fourth pick of royal gala variety… And we said: „Stop!“ in the moment, when we had only 100 dollars each on our payslips for a week of hard work! By law the company is obliged to pay each worker the minimum wage, and no amounts of bins! Its very sad, but i can´t recommend this copany for the picking!

Almost all staff quit like we and went to a different parts of this beautiful country. And now, we are working in packhouse for hourly wage and we are satisfied

Some tips from me:

There is a problem to get the car insurance for backpackers. AA offers a advantageous products only for residents and other companies are similar. But we found this:

You can extend your working holiday visa for another 3 months with no problem…

When you put your car to the service just stay there with mechanic. It happend to us – we paid for wheel alignment and mechanics didn´t do that! We had to tell to boss it, he tested the car personally – he found out is is true and after they fixed it!

We also can recommend to buy AC/DC transmitter, which you can connect instead the car fighter – it is good to have a czech plug for laptop or cellphone charging.

Submitted by: Nela Popiolkova
Date submitted: 26/04/2010 6:38:32 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 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


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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