Our farmstay program is a great way to show New Zealands farming ways to an interested young guy or girl from abroad. we like to consider this to be similar to hosting an Au Pair, except this will involve farm/outdoor work as opposed to childcare.
Generally our farmstayers will join you for 2 – 6 months as part of their working holiday year in New Zealand. We must point out this is a cultural exchange for these ambitious young travellers, who are generally from Europe, and not just a cheap worker for your farm.
Typically ( although we understand every farm is different) The farmstayer will work on a 5 on/2 off roster ( or less), usually for no more than 40 hours per week, which then enables them to be able to explore the country also. Most farmers find this works perfect for completing jobs which the day to day farm staff do not find the time for, such as spraying weeds, painting, pruning trees, repairing fences etc. as well as seasonal requirements for extra staff such as fruit picking, calving , or if you have a one off job such as house alterations or painting your farm buildings. Of course, with the right organisation they could be included in the normal farm roster and cover milkings for absent staff and so on.
We have divided our farmstayers into two categories, “skilled” and “un-skilled” which are explained below.
Skilled farmstayers generally have a trade or qualification related to farming, but not necessarily limited to farming. Builders, arborists, landscapers, etc all fall under the skilled list. You will however know of the applicants skills prior to employment, so you can choose the right applicant for your requirements.
Unskilled farmstayers may not necessarily hold a qualification or trade related to farming, but are still screened and interviewed to ensure they can competently learn and complete tasks.
How it works.
You will fill out our application form which will help narrow down potential canditates. Sometimes these are still in their home country preparing to come to New Zealand, and sometimes they have already arrived or are partway through their NZ working holiday year. We will then review the information you have given us, source perhaps 2 or 3 who show potential and send through their profiles to you for your consideration.
There is a fee to us for this service which is outlined below. This is paid upon both parties accepting the farmstay placement.
What do you get?
As already pointed out, we source a suitable farmstayer for you, interview, screen, and ensure they are both legally entitled and willing to work on a New Zealand farm. We also ensure the farmstayer is set up with an ird number, bank account, New Zealand sim card and working phone so they are all set to go. We provide an employment agreement for you to use, and are also available for mediation in the event of a problem, and will replace your farmstayer, where suitable, in the event they cannot see out the term of their placement.
As a host farm, you are required to provide food ( or a food allowance) and board of a reasonable standard, pay the farmstayer weekly, use our employment contract, take care of the farmstayers paye, and treat the farmstayer as you would like to be treated on a cultural exchange ( show around the local area, teach about NZ farming, allow the farmstayer to share a meal with you from time to time etc.) we also ask that you take the time to ensure the farmstayer is safe on your farm by going through any safety policies and procedures you may have. Some of our host farms also provide a vehicle for the farmstayer to use. Although not necessary, we do find this increases the chances of a successful placement.
Typically this is worked on minimum wage, minus food and accommodation.
You may also be able to provide other perks, such as local sightseeing or use of a vehicle. Ultimately this is between yourself and the farmstayer, and provided no employment laws are broken we are open to look at your suggestions.
Host Farm Info