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Agriculture and Adventure are a big part of everyday life in New Zealand. Young people from overseas countries can experience and enjoy the thrills of living, working and playing among the varied landscapes of New Zealand through the Rural Exchange New Zealand programme (RENZ).

RENZ is a NZ Government approved work exchange scheme which allows young people (between 18 and 30) from many countries to work in agriculture-related activities in New Zealand for up to 12 months.

New Zealand's economy is based largely on agriculture and the farmers are renowned for their innovative and productive farming methods.

There are opportunities through RENZ to work on modern dairy farms (herd sizes average 600, but some farms milk more than 2,000 cows), sheep and cattle farms, mixed farms, cropping farms, plant nurseries, landscaping, wineries and vineyards.

The RENZ programme is a work exchange scheme. Hosts will pay a fair wage for hours worked. But if you are coming only to make money ... stay at home. You will probably earn more with less expense ! However the rewards of the RENZ programme should far outweight the hardships, and for many trainees this experience is unforgettable and life-changing.

With a population of just 4 million, there is plenty of room for everyone on the two main islands of New Zealand. The whole country is about the same size as the British Isles, but there is only a fraction of the population.

Working is just one aspect of coming to NZ. There are many opportunities to take part in adventure activities and exploring during your time off ... bungy jumping is a well known and thrilling experience, but there are many other things to do ... bush walking and trekking in the mountains and forests, water sports, skiing to name a few.

Meeting and socialising with fellow visitors and Kiwis is part of the fun of an overseas experience.

As part of the exchange programme, visitors have the support and backing of RENZ which has been arranging hosting for young people for over 14 years. RENZ trainees get to meet like-minded people from different parts of the world, and these contacts often become life-long friends. Trainees get together at organised events, and are encouraged to socialise during their placements.

Agriculture: Dairy, Pigs, Beef, Field Crops and Machinery, Sheep, Mixed farming.

Horticulture: Fruit, landscaping, plant nursery, vegetables, cut flowers.

Equine: Breeding, yearling preparation, sport horse, trail riding. Appropriate work experience is essential for all equine placements more than recreational riding experience.

Oenology/wine: Cellar work, vineyard work

Other placements: Other rural placements can sometimes be offered.

Dairy placements start from July and are available throughout the year. Other farming and horticultural placements generally start in NZ spring (August-September-October); winery placements start from February-March.

Participants should:
  Be mature, flexible, open-minded, committed and willing to make adjustments.
  Be able to develop a stable relationship with a host family and fellow workers, and
     become part of a working team.
  Be polite, conscientious, courteous and avoid cultural political and economic
     value comparisons that might lead to conflict with hosts.
  Expect to work long hours at certain peak times in the season. Farming in New
     Zealand can be labour intensive.
  Stay on his or her assigned site throughout the entire placement period.
  Be responsible for travel arrangements to and from the host property.
  Be willing to try new experiences, and participate in activities.

PO Box 182, Kaiapoi, New Zealand

      All content is the copright of Rural Exchange New Zealand Ltd 2008