By far the largest number of casual workers are required in the orchard. Around 80% of the 380 extra staff we hire will work there.

Here in Central Otago our cherry harvest usually begins around the middle of December. The first fruit available is mostly destined for the local NZ market but as we progress into late December and early January our prized export crop is harvested. As this crop comes on stream our need for more employees increases both in the packhouse and in the orchard. The trees determine when we need people and how many we require and every year it is slightly different. Changing weather,crop volume and quality often mean decisions are made quite quickly and with some urgency. In these circumstances those applying directly at the Employment Office are chosen ahead of on-line applicants

 Applications for the 2019/2020 season will open October 10th 2019.

Mainly we require pickers. People who are physically robust and can tolerate working outside when the days are sometimes long and hot. If the crop is heavy we may sometimes work for extended periods without a break. If there is rain in the forecast we will work longer hours to harvest fruit rather than risk it being damaged.

We also require a much smaller number of people in the orchard to assist in the transport of fruit to the packhouse.

A significant number of our orchard workers have returned after working previous seasons and we have many who return to their home countries and recommend that friends who travel here apply to work for us too. They have enjoyed working for 45 South, are usually fast pickers and consequently earn high wages.

Health and Safety

45sth Management Ltd with their employees are committed to providing and maintaining a safe and healthy working environment by:

  • Working together on Health and Safety concerns.
  • Ensuring all plant and equipment is safe.
  • Training our people in safe methods of work.
  • Acting to adhere to workplace health and safety legislation and regulation including the NZ HSE Act.

We are Committed to:

  • Every job being done safely and without injury
  • Everybody being responsible for Health and Safety at 45Sth.

In the Packhouse

As noted earlier we need around 80 people in the packhouse so compared with orchard work the competition for work is much tougher. Again we have many who return year after year. They enjoy renewing old friendships, they are highly valued employees and their contibution is recognised appropiately.

Here the work is grading, packing, quality control and distribution. Graders are paid by contract while other positions are paid by hourly rate.

There are usually 3 intakes of staff. Mid December, late December, and early January.


How to Apply

Please apply using our online application form.

Please note: Foreign nationals must have a valid work permit, a NZ tax number, and a local bank account. For further information on work permits go to

For further information on tax go to

Other employment enquiries
If you wish to extend your stay in Central Otago, visit Seasonal Solutions for more employment opportunities.