Jobs in Hamilton & Waikato

The Waikato region is a medium-sized economy with a strong primary production and agri-manufacturing focus.

Although the economy is based on dairy, meat and other foods along with forestry, agritech and geothermal energy, the biggest employers are the health and education, business and finance, and wholesale and retail trade sectors. The aviation industry is also growing.

With about 9.6 per cent of the national population (in 2018), Waikato provided 8.6 per cent of national employment and 8.4 per cent to national GDP.

[Source: Statistics New Zealand data, 2018].

Waikato Seasonal Work

Picking Lettuce
Looking for more general employment information?

The Waikato is the historic heart of the country’s dairy industry, which is the main economic driver in the region.

However, ideal farming conditions for a wide variety of potential crops has encouraged agricultural investment of all kinds.

From asparagus to hops (for craft beer brewing) and a tea plantation which needs specialist pickers, and the largest annual agricultural show in the Southern hemisphere, the Waikato region has a seasonal job for every one. 

There is always demand for seasonal and casual roles in tourism, hospitality, horticulture, forestry, and meat processing.

Waikato Seasonal Work Calendar
Seasonal work in Waikato by month, job type and worker demand
When What Jobs Find Jobs
Feb - April Apple harvest & packing 2,000+ Pick NZ
Feb - April Apples - thinning 1,000+ Pick NZ
Year round (peak April - June) Potato harvesting 1,000+ Pick NZ
June - October Grapefruit picking and packing 1,000+ Pick NZ
July - December Asparagus harvesting 250+ NZ Farm source
August - October Dairy / Beef farm assistant 10,000+ NZ Farm source
August - April Milk harvesting 5,000+ Pick NZ
September - April Avocado picking and packing TBA Seek TradeMe Jobs Backpacker board
October - March Tourism Summer Activity Staff 1,000 Seek TradeMe Jobs Backpacker board
October - March Tourism Boat Crew 250+ Pick NZ
November - March Onion harvesting 500 Pick NZ
December - March Blueberry picking and packing 1,000 Seek TradeMe Jobs Backpacker board
Year Round Hospitality Staff (F&B, Baristas, Chefs etc) 5,000+ Seek TradeMe Jobs Backpacker board
Year Round Causal Event Staff 2,500+ Seek TradeMe Jobs Backpacker board
Year Round Accommodation Staff (Hotels etc) 5,000+ Seek TradeMe Jobs Backpacker board
Year Round Meatworks – processing 2,400 Meat Your Career
Year Round Mussel Farming 500+ Seek , TradeMe Jobs
Year Round Oyster Farming 500+ Seek , TradeMe Jobs

Job vacancies in Hamilton & Waikato

Trade Me Jobs  - lists a large number of jobs in the Waikato

Seek - New Zealand's largest general job website

Work and Income - jobs available in the Waikato for Job Seekers - lists recruitment companies in New Zealand


Most local newspapers publish jobs available in the area in the Situations Vacant column.

Job search help

Tips for recent migrants | - a free service to assist with your job search and prepare you for employment in the local labour market.

Work and Income - a government department helping to find employment for residents or those with a valid work permit. 

Business networking organisations 

South Waikato Economic Development group - supports local businesses in the South Waikato area

Hamilton Central Business Association - supports property and business owners in Hamilton central business district (CBD)

Waikato Chinese Business Association - offers support to Chinese business owners in the Waikato region

Ethnic Business Network - a hub of resources, knowledge, training, opportunities and networking for ethnic businesses and entrepreneurs

Venus Network - a business network for women

Local Chambers of Commerce support businesses by offering advice, consultancy, training and networking opportunities. See:

Waikato Chamber of Commerce

Taupo Chamber of Commerce

Cambridge Chamber of Commerce

Te Awamutu Chamber of Commerce

Pacific Business Trust - Assists Pacific Island business owners take advantage of opportunities available. Helps with financial advice, networks, etc.


Volunteering is a great way to gain work experience, meet new people, learn about your community, and improve your English skills.

Volunteering Waikato matches volunteers looking for volunteering roles with organisations looking for specific skills, and offers free to low-cost training for volunteers.

Volunteering Waikato

Volunteer support organisations

Young Workers' Resource Centre - a non-profit organisation funded by the Waikato community to bring free support and advice to youth in the workforce

Dress for success - a not-for-profit organisation that works to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing support and clothing for interviews


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