What Seasonal Job Opportunities Are There Over Summer 673 6048156 0 14101836 1000

Whether you're visiting New Zealand for the first time or you've lived here your whole life, summer is a great time to explore the country and see the sights. But there are also a lot of opportunities for short-term or seasonal work during the summer months. Tradestaff are always looking for candidates to fill a range of roles throughout the country, and the sunshine doesn't change that. Let's have a look at a few of the jobs that are on offer over summer, and some things to think about if you're looking for work this season.

Road works

The New Zealand summer is often a busy time for road construction and repairs. While this can mean some difficulties and hold-ups if you're trying to get around, the upside is that it also means opportunities for work.

The New Zealand summer is often a busy time for road construction and repairs.

"The warmer months in summer are the best time of year for maintenance and repairs," says Mark Owen, the NZ Transport Agency's Regional Performance Manager. "While we appreciate that people are travelling for their summer holiday break, it is also our window of opportunity to take advantage of good weather to do maintenance to keep our roads in good shape."

Road work can involve a range of activities, including digging up old road surfaces, pouring new concrete and asphalt, operating heavy machinery and traffic control around the construction site.

Careers NZ says that you do not need specific qualifications to be a roading construction worker, and that skills gained on the job can lead to more specialised roles in the future. Having a full driver's licence is definitely preferred by employers, and a heavy vehicle licence is a bonus, but not necessary. The work can be physically demanding, so it pays to be fit.

Summer is the busiest period for the horticulture industry.

Fruit picking and related jobs

Summer is the busiest period for the horticulture industry, says Careers NZ. Not only is there the harvesting of summer fruit, there's also work to do beforehand pruning and thinning the fruit trees, and packing and grading after the harvest. Most of the work happens between December and April, when the demand for workers can increase by thousands. Careers NZ says that in addition to fruit picking and packing, there are also agricultural jobs that can come up over summer as farmers take advantage of the warmer weather, although some of these can require more experience.

The wine industry has labouring jobs of various kinds available all year round, which in summer include vine maintenance work such as thinning leaves and shoots, placing nets and raising wires for the vines to grow along. Student Job Search says that you need a reliable level of fitness for this kind of work, and be comfortable working for long periods outdoors.


Between the Auckland housing boom, Canterbury rebuild and the repairs and reconstruction following November's 7.8 magnitude earthquake near Kaikoura, New Zealand's construction industry has a great deal of work ahead of it. This means the need for labourers is high in many places, particularly in Christchurch and Auckland. This summer will see plenty of opportunities available for anyone with construction skills or experience.

For those who do have valuable skills needed in New Zealand, the process for getting a working visa can be easier. The list of skills this applies to covers both immediate and long term shortages, as well as the need for people who can fill construction-based roles in the Canterbury rebuild. This may be an appealing option for people who are considering staying in New Zealand for longer than just the summer months.

Painters and brush hands

This is an aspect of the construction industry that has also seen an increase due to Auckland and Christchurch's building demands, and Tradestaff has painting jobs in need of candidates around the country. While the role isn't tied to the summer months in the way that seasonal fruit picking is, it's a job that can be heavily dependent on the weather conditions, so the increased chance of warm, dry periods makes summer an ideal time to do as much as possible.

Like roading work, specific qualifications aren't necessary to be a painter or brush hand, although your level of experience is very definitely a factor that will increase your chances of getting hired, or of earning more for your work. Painters and decorators deal with scaffolding and often work at heights, which is something to consider when deciding if this kind of work is for you.

Painters and brush hands want to make the most of warm, dry weather.

Working in New Zealand

To work in New Zealand in any industry you'll need to get a few things sorted first. If you're from overseas you have to have a valid visa to work in the country, and you'll need a New Zealand bank account and IRD number. You can find out more on how to get these here

Although some jobs are linked to summer, there are industries that need labour all year round.

Many seasonal summer jobs will be specific to a particular region (certain agricultural work will be limited to the region where that fruit tree grows best, for example), so it's worth doing some research about what's available in the places you're staying or would like to go. Tradestaff can help you with this, as we have branches throughout the country who know their area and its needs. 

Although some jobs are directly linked to the warm summer weather, there are industries that are in need of labour all year round. The construction industry is one example, but forestry, engineering and a range of technical trades all have roles on the skill shortage list that they are trying to find candidates for. 

Whether you want to find a temporary job over the summer or something more long-term and permanent, Tradestaff can find you a placement that suits your needs and skills. With over 16 years experience, we know the New Zealand job market well, and we work hard to find the right match for job seekers and employers alike. If you'd like to know more or see what we can do to help you work in New Zealand this summer, please give us a call today.