Nelson Tasman’s New Seasonal Labour Campaign

Nelson Tasman’s New Seasonal Labour Campaign

Written by Charlotte Lang

Posted on Thursday 4 February 2021

Project Kōkiri is calling on New Zealanders to Pick Nelson Tasman - quite literally - with a campaign that aims to help fill hundreds of jobs available in the region’s horticulture and viticulture industries.

“Nelson Tasman is renowned for growing some of the world’s best produce but this produce needs to be picked,” says Project Kōkiri spokesperson Johny O’Donnell. “These jobs used to be primarily filled by travellers and international workers, but while our borders remain closed there’s a big shortage of staff. So now we need as many people as possible to pack their bags and pick Nelson Tasman.”

Some estimates suggest that the horticulture industry is facing a shortfall of over 1,600 workers this year. If those roles aren’t filled and the produce goes to waste, the region stands to take an economic hit well into the tens of millions.

The Pick Nelson Tasman campaign leverages off the success of the ‘We’ve Got This’ campaign which reached over one million people. It captures a uniquely Nelson Tasman vibe whilst promoting work opportunities and celebrating all the great lifestyle offerings in the region.

It will be a full 360 campaign with targeted PR, print, radio and a big focus on social media and digital advertising. The campaign includes a back office recruitment function, which is being supported by the Ministry of Social Development and will take care of the applications received by the campaign to match them with job opportunities available.

In addition to the wages, there are a number of incentives being offered by the government as part of its New Zealand Seasonal Work Scheme that make these jobs even more appealing. These include the possibility of financial assistance for relocation costs, daily travel costs, work gear, accommodation costs payment; and a one-off incentive payment.

“But it’s more than the jobs we’re promoting,” says O’Donnell. “We’re also promoting it as an opportunity to explore our stunning, diverse region. Once they’ve finished filling their bins, they can fill their boots with a huge range of activities and attractions. It’s a great opportunity to have their overseas experience in our backyard.”

“Come for the jobs. Stay for the stunning beaches, amazing weather, beautiful walks, epic kayaking, delicious food and drink, and cool events. Think of it as your sort of overseas experience.”

For more information and to apply, visit where you can apply and get matched with a recruitment coordinator to help find you a job.

For more information on the New Zealand Seasonal Work Scheme, visit

About Project Kōkiri
Project Kōkiri is a collaboration to respond to and mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 on the Nelson Tasman region. The aim is to enable an economic response and regeneration that will stimulate the economy, protect and create new jobs and accelerate investment into the region. The response has been initiated and led by the Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council, the Nelson Regional Development Agency, the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce, Mana Whenua and the regionally based Government agencies including MSD, MBIE and MPI.

The work of Project Kōkiri is integrated into the wider response to COVID19 including the regions Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) group. Project Kōkiri acts as the “war room” of the economic response and regeneration working to cushion the immediate impacts of the economic fallout, fuel our recovery efforts and rebuild a more resilient and sustainable economy for the people of Nelson Tasman.