Hawkes Bay orchards struggling to find workers

updated By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

New Zealand's biggest organic apple grower Bostock in Hastings is about to hit peak season but it find enough workers to pick their crops.

They need around 400 staff over the next three months, but it's not just the seasonal positions they can't fill, it's the permanent ones too.

"Ideally we'd have enough staff to work six days a week but if we don't have enough we'll be harvesting for seven days, and we'd like to be able to give them a day off."

Despite working alongside WINZ and advertising about the recent Bostock open day, they were still unable to attract a large number of potential workers to sign up to orchard work.

In two weeks time they'll be ready to harvest the gala apples which need to be picked within 18 days to keep the fruit in its optimal condition.

However, with the staff shortage, people from either out of town or overseas are coming in to the fill the positions that Hawkes Bay locals aren't willing to take up.