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Cherry Picking in Central Otago

1. Jones/Suncrest Orchard, Cromwell.
Before working at Suncrest, I had always lamented the fact that with the majority of jobs, we are paid for the amount of time we spend at work, rather than for how much work we do. Being paid for mucking around at your workplace hardly makes you motivated to work hard. Being paid for how much work you do, however, is fantastic, especially at Suncrest, where the rates of pay were always very fair. I began the season thinning stonefruit, which is mind-numbing work, but which pays will if you can motivate yourself to move fast. After a couple of weeks, the cherry season began and suddenly we were all rolling in cash. You get paid per bucket at Suncrest, and while the bucket rice, at around $5, is not as much as some other orchards, Suncrest workers generally come away with more money, due to the fact that the managers seem to be conscientious with regard to providing work every day, unlike other orchards I have worked at, where we have been required to be on hold, earning no money, for days at a time. Also, the accommodation available at the orchard is much cheaper than a lot of other orchards, at only around $40 per week. Sure, the bosses at Suncrest can sometimes come across as, well, bossy, but youll soon find that if you dont mess them around, things will run very smoothly for you. I highly recommend cherry-picking in New Zealand, particularly at Suncrest Orchard.




2. Fortune Fruit, Cromwell
Last summer (2010-11) I was late in applying for cherry-picking jobs and, after much hunting around, received an offer of employment driving a tractor at Fortune Fruit, in Cromwell. This job was to show me the incredible pay disparity between people doing different jobs on the same orchard. Most orchards in New Zealand operate a "colour-picking" system where there is work almost every day and pickers pick only the ripe fruit. This means that there is work every day for both pickers and other workers, such as the drivers who transport the cherries from the fields to the pack-house. If I had been driving on a colour-picking orchard, I would probably have recieved around $800 per week. At Fortune Fruit, however, the picking system is what is known as "strip-picking." This is a method where pickers wait around for a variety of cherries to ripen and then pick a huge amount in one day. This method is great for pickers, who can make up to $450 in a day, and sometimes around $1500 in a week. If, however, you are like me, and a working on hourly wages, you will make extremely little money. Where pickers were making $1500 per week, I was lucky to receive $400. It was incredibly frustrating sitting on a tractor watching people making loads of money doing a job I was perfectly capable of, while earning a pittence myself. After two weeks, I had had enough and quit, forfeiting a days pay. I went apricot picking on another orchard and was soon making three times what I was making driving the tractor, and enjoying the work much more.

Submitted by: Max Olsen
Date submitted: 13/08/2011 6:50:50 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 donít 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 weíve beaten twice at the Rugby World Cup? Letís 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 itÖ 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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