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boss was very nice and friendly

Hey,we are a german couple, Carolin and Philipp , 19 and 20 and we are for a half year with a working holiday visa in New Zealand. We are traveling with a van trough the country.
Our first place to work was in Gisborne in the beginning of the new year. We took some flyers of the wineries in the surrounding from the i-Site and called them. By hazard, the third one got work for some weeks and so we worked there together with some guys from France and South America. Our job was to pluck the leaves, that the fruits get more air and sun. After that we hung nets to protect the plants of birds.
The job was not very hard in fact only the back was hurting very much. Our boss was very nice and friendly. For smoko we got tee, coffee and sometimes cookies and after work we got the possibility to taste the homemade wines.
After two weeks all work had been done and we had to look for another job. In our hostel there was an announcement for plucking leaves on a big vineyard and we decided to go there. The boss was very unfriendly and the job quite hard. It was payed on production: for every plant you get 12cent or per row 30$. It wasnt possible to do more than 1.5 rows per day and therefore we quit the job after two days and moved on. Later we got to know that they cheated on us. In the end all had been payed hourly and it was only to keep us working fast.
After traveling on South Island we stopped to work in Blenheim.A aunt in Germany has a customer who came from New Zealand to Germany. He has some relatives in Blenheim who have a Winery. The bad thing was, that we knew only the name of the relative and nothing more. After a lot of nerve-racking phone-calls we got to know that he is at the moment in Australia on holidays - so no work for us. In general at this time all people in the hostel searched for work - without luck . Two other Germans gave us a number from a contractor, she should have work but they tried it and had no luck. We thought that we could at least try it and called her. After 2 minutes we had a job on vineyard.
The first two days we went there for thinning and then started with harvesting for a big company of the region. The payment was on contract, the amount depends on the size of the bunches we had to pick. For the bigger and so easier ones we got 80c and for the plants with more and smaller grapes we got up to 1,20$. Every worker had some stickers with an individual number, which we put on the irrigation line of each bay, one bay has 3 or 4 plants. At the end of the day a supervisor went throw the rows and counted the stickers of each person. Actually you have to trust them because you have no proof of the work you did.
All in all the team was a little bit confusing, because every day it was another time that they pick us. Some days we had to wait up to two hours without knowing if someone comes. Additionally we picked shallots for some days. It was payed hourly but working the whole day on your knees with the dust around you was quite hard. After we decided to stop working it took a long time that we got all of our money on our bank account.
Back on North Island we called our old boss in Gisborne and she said that maybe in a few weeks there would be some work for us. She also passed our number to other winemakers and finally she and 2 others called us, that they need our help. We went spontaneously from Taupo to Gisborne once again and worked one week for them. It was very nice to see our boss again. Now she is no more a employer but a very good friend for us. We also bought there some wine for our family in Germany to show them „our“ wine.
Our last stop was in Tauranga, there we wanted to work in a pack-house but they had all no vacancies and a long list of applications. Working as a kiwi fruit picker would be for a girl too hard, anyway they wanted only boys. On the internet we found some smaller jobs on little farms and did this for a few days. So all in all we would say, that if you really want to work, it is easy to find a job in New Zealand. You have to be willing to work hard for the minimum wage and under all conditions but with a little bit of luck you meet great people from all over the world and you make friends with them. We made here experiences we would never have made in Germany.






Submitted by: Carolin and Philipp
Date submitted: 8/05/2011 10:45:37 PM

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