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11 Jobs That Qualify to Extend Your Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand


What are the jobs to extend your Working Holiday visa?

It’s a popular one – once many backpackers and working holidaymakers find themselves in New Zealand, they want to stay a bit longer! This certainly can be done by applying for a Working Holiday Extension Work Visa (SSE/WHE Work Visa Application – INZ 1153). The same conditions apply as your current working holiday visa, just extended for a further three months. The only catch is that you need to prove you have worked certain jobs to extend your working holiday visa.

Apart from British citizens and Canadian citizens, in order to get a Working Holiday Extension Work Visa, you must have worked in the horticulture and/or viticulture industry doing planting, picking, maintaining, harvesting and/or packing crops for at least three months of your working holiday in New Zealand so far. The SSE/WHE Work Visa Application (INZ 1153) requires you to show evidence that you have worked horticulture and viticulture job for at least three months in New Zealand. This doesn’t have to be “full-time” work during the three months, but you must prove that you worked at least part-time on a regular basis over three months.

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1. Fruit Thinning

This mostly occurs of apple, pear, plum, peach and nectarine orchards where workers are required to pick fruit that doesn’t meet a certain standard to make way for the bigger and better fruit.

Best locations for fruit thinning: Hawke’s Bay, Nelson and Otago.

2. Picking

This can be in any vineyard, fruit orchard and vegetable orchard. Picking is when the fruit or vegetable is picked at the end of the growing season. For more information, check out Working a Fruit Picking Job in New Zealand.

Best locations for picking: See Picking Seasons in New Zealand.

3. Vineyard maintenance

This is any work to do with working on a vineyard from jobs like debugging, tucking, bud rubbing, shoot thinning, wire lifting, leaf plucking and net placement.

Best locations for vineyard maintenance: Marlborough, Otago, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Auckland and Waiheke Island.

4. Fruit tree pruning

Cutting away branches or undesired parts of plants or trees is considered pruning.

Best locations for fruit tree pruning: Hawke’s Bay, Nelson and Otago.

5. Tractor Driving

This job qualifies for a working holiday visa extension when driving a tractor for the horticulture or viticulture industry. This job usually requires a heavy vehicle driving license.

Best locations for tractor driving: In top fruit producing regions as covered in Picking Seasons in New Zealand.

6. Lifting platform operating

More commonly known as Hydralada Operating in New Zealand. You don’t need a special license but experience with farm machinery is usually desirable.

Best locations for Hydraladas operating: Bay of Plenty, Northland, Hawke’s Bay and Otago.

7. Forklift operator

Training is usually provided on the job. A license is only needed when driving a forklift on the road.

Best locations for forklift operator jobs: See regions listed in Picking Seasons in New Zealand.

8. Truck driving

Truck driving usually requires workers to have a heavy vehicle license in New Zealand. This is transporting goods for the horticulture and viticulture industry.

Best locations for truck driving: Nationwide.

9. Pre-harvest crop monitoring

A job which involves gathering data in the horticulture and viticulture industry.

Best locations for pre-harvest crop monitoring: See regions in this article.

10. Pre-harvest & Harvest quality control

This data-gathering work takes place in orchards, packhouses and/or coolstores following quality control processes.

Best locations for pre-harvest & harvest quality control: See regions in this article.

11. Packhouse work

There’s a great deal of work for backpackers in packhouses, where produce is checked and packed for distribution. Work includes, grading, cleaning/shed hand, data management, labelling, stacking, strapping, tray filling, post-harvest quality control, coolstore personnel, line managing, shift managing, inspecting and box folding.

Best locations for packhouse work: Bay of Plenty, Auckland, Northland, Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay.

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