Farm and Agriculture Jobs in New Zealand

New Zealand is justly famous for its agriculture and forestry, overcoming the challenge of distance to become a world leader. You’ll have an unbeatable opportunity to develop your career in a country recognised as a hub of agribusiness innovation.

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A powerhouse sector globally

Agriculture, forestry and the food sector generate nearly two thirds of our merchandise export earnings and employ 11% of our total workforce.

Agriculture and forestry are among New Zealand’s powerhouse industries. Together with fisheries and related industries they generated 44.6% of our total overseas trade in the year to June 2015 and employed over 141,400 people or over 6% of our total workforce. It’s big business by any reckoning – and your chance to work in a sector that makes waves around the world.

Despite some challenging conditions in 2015, the meat, horticulture, seafood and other sectors grew strongly, helping to offset slowdowns in dairy and forestry. Medium term prospects are good with the Ministry for Primary Industries forecasting earnings from the sector to rise around 6% between 2018 and 2022.

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New Zealand is the world’s largest dairy and sheep meat exporter. The industry has succeeded in building a highly competitive primary production and distribution infrastructure, despite being further from the world’s agricultural markets than any other major producers.

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Skilled workers needed

Workers are needed in several areas of agriculture in 2018, especially in supervisory and management roles, and also in highly skilled areas, particularly agricultural-related sciences. For details of occupations currently in demand, check out Immigration New Zealand’s lists of skill shortages.

If you are offered a job which appears on a skill shortage list and you have the qualifications and experience to match, getting a work visa will be easier. This is because the Government has identified that employers need to recruit people from overseas to help meet demand for your skills.

But if your job is not on a shortage list, don’t be disheartened. There are other work and resident visa options. 

The dairy sector is especially short of workers. It’s estimated that at least 2,000 more workers are needed every year to cater for growth in the sector.

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