Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Job Hunting in Bay of Plenty

Bay of Plenty is an important region of fruits and vegetables growing and it’s particularly recognized for the kiwifruit plantation in Te Puke. In fact, Te Puke is given a name as ‘Kiwifruit capital of the world’. I knew that many backpackers normally will come to the town around April for kiwifruit picking when the season started. Nonetheless, I came to the region on October-November and the only jobs I could find was kiwifruit pruning and kiwifruit flower picking on occasion. The work in Te Puke wasn't steady and I almost had days off more than work days. 

One day, Gavin and I met a Malaysian lady contractor by chance while we're having dinner in a Chinese restaurant in Te Puke. She invited us to work with her in the kiwifruit orchards in Opotiki and she claimed that she could offer steadier works. I actually had never heard about the town before, but Gavin asked me to go there with him and try our luck in any case. Other than working in kiwifruit orchards again, I can’t think of any other jobs available for us at the moment. So, we tried. 

For the first few days, we traveled between Te Puke and Opotiki every day since we still stayed in Te Puke and we took approximately 3 hours for return trip. Frankly, staying in Opotiki wasn't part of my working holiday plan. Allowing for the distance, we moved to stay in the township in the end. There're just a few main streets in the town, the supermarket was limited. Luckily, my accommodation in Royal Hotel was pretty good.

Opotiki town viewed from the Royal Hotel

The works in kiwifruit orchards were the same, we mostly did pruning. Male workers were relatively more than female workers since it’s a pretty tough work. Anyway, Gavin and I stayed at the place just about 2 weeks given that the contractor didn’t provide us what she had promised and worse it’s always challenging to get the pay from her.

Kiwifruit orchard

Kiwifruits hanging with the support of vine

Close-up of kiwifruits

Unqualified kiwifruits

Another one meant to be threw away

The last job I did in Bay of Plenty was kiwifruit thinning in Te Puke orchard again. I knew the job from a friend of mine but it’s much better than the previous ones. Instead of using long and heavy cutter to trim the kiwifruit branches, we only need to pick the unusual kiwifruits and threw them away. Moreover, our new Nepal contractor was friendlier and paid us on time. I liked the latest job but I couldn’t stay long for it as my planned itinerary to other places was about to begin. In fact, this is also the last job I did before I left New Zealand.