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Being a Trainee in New Zealand - Do you have what it takes?


Before you say yes, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you mature, flexible, open-minded, committed and willing to make adjustments?

  • Can you develop a stable relationship with a host family and fellow workers and become part of a working team?

  • Can you work long hours at certain peak times in the season? Farming in New Zealand can be labour-intensive.

  • Are you willing to try new experiences and participate in activities?

  • Be away from family and friends for a long period?

To be part of our programme, you need to fit these requirements:

  • Between the ages of 18-35.

  • Able to understand and speak a reasonable level of English.

  • Have at least one year’s experience in the type of work you are applying for.

  • Hold a current driver’s licence (International or official translation in English).

  • Be covered by approved medical insurance.

  • Be in good health and not in possession of or using any drugs other than those recommended by a doctor

  • Have a return or onward air ticket.

Being a Trainee in New Zealand - What is expected?


What is expected?

Participants in the RENZ programme have the opportunity to have hands-on experience within NZ farming and experience the culture of New Zealand. During their free time, they can enjoy and discover the sights and attractions of NZ.
The RENZ Programme is not based on formal educational or training systems. However, participants can learn new skills and gain an understanding of non-subsidised agriculture while working at their placements.
Being part of RENZ means trainees will have the same rights and protection and be subject to the same laws as NZ citizens during their time in New Zealand. If problems arise, such as legal or health matters, RENZ will be there to assist and offer advice, and of course, can be easily contacted by e-mail and telephone.
RENZ suggests trainees should look at their time in New Zealand as an “adventure” with the opportunity to earn money during their experience to pay for travel and sightseeing.
We strongly recommend that trainees not come to NZ to make money solely. The experience and memories will last a lifetime.

Some things you should know

VISA/Work Permit: Participants in the RENZ programme obtain a work visa issued under New Zealand Immigration’s Work Exchange Policy. This is obtained from the appropriate New Zealand Immigration office and requires documentation provided by RENZ.  Work visas are issued up to the length of time of the job offer, up to a maximum of 12 months.  Participants must work with the host specified on the visa. Some countries must undergo a medical examination, which may include a chest x-ray.

Insurance: Inbound trainees must be insured to cover medical, accidents and emergency dental.  We also advise baggage cover.   

Wages: Trainees will receive at least the legal minimum adult wage of $23.15 per hour. Some hosts will pay slightly more. Government taxation will be deducted from wages, as will accommodation costs sometimes.  Upon departure, trainees can apply for a tax refund and may sometimes receive back a small percentage of the tax paid. Holidays can be taken in consultation with hosts. If no holidays are taken during the placement, there will be some holiday pay at the end.

Accommodation: Most trainees working on farms will live on or near the farm, but those in towns or cities may have private boarding and lodging some distance from the work site. Transport is the trainee’s responsibility. There are many different arrangements for paying for accommodation. On some farms, accommodation and electricity costs may be deducted from wages; on others, there may be a weekly lodging fee. Most trainees are responsible for their own food.

Rural Exchange NZ (RENZ) Current Fees

Work Exchange Visa Fee

$1,250.00 NZ Dollars

RENZ inbound fee for a work exchange visa

Working Holiday Visa Fee

$1,050.00 NZ Dollars

RENZ inbound fee for a working holiday visa

Preplacement Fee

$1,050.00 NZ Dollars

RENZ preplacement fee

Cancellation    Fee

$ 200.00 NZ Dollars

RENZ cancellation fee after placement is made

All prices are in New Zealand Dollars

Helpful Links to Discover New Zealand