Agriculture & forestry
New Zealand is justly famous for its agriculture and forestry, overcoming the challenge of distance to become a world leader. You’ll have an unbeatable opportunity to develop your career in a country recognised as a hub of agribusiness innovation.
A powerhouse sector globally
Over 80% of our merchandise exports are from the food and fibre sector.
Agriculture and forestry are among New Zealand's powerhouse industries. Together with fisheries and related sectors, our primary industries generate over 80% of our merchandise exports and are key drivers in our continued economic growth.
New Zealand’s primary industries have succeeded in building an efficient and highly competitive production and distribution infrastructure, despite being further from the world’s markets than any other major producers.
Dairy is New Zealand's biggest export earner – worth about $19 billion a year. Meat exports are also worth a lot to New Zealand. Beef and lamb exports alone total more than $5 billion a year.
Primary industry production and exports performed better than expected during the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ministry for Primary Industries forecasts annual export revenue for food and fibre will reach $56.8 billion by year June 2026.
Is your profession on the green list?
There are agriculture and forestry roles currently on INZ's fast-tracked Residency Green list
Job sites to explore
- For job seekers | Farm Source Jobs - NZ's largest dairy sector job board
- Job search | Seek- NZ's largest general job website
- Search for jobs | Trade Me - NZ’s most popular website with a large job section
- Job vacancy and recruitment websites | careers.govt.nz
You can find information about living and working on New Zealand dairy farms in our detailed guide.
Seasonal work for working holiday visa holders
New Zealand's horticulture industry has many casual roles available for travellers with working holiday visas, allowing you to work your way around the regions and enjoy some of New Zealand's best tourist attractions.
Work is available all across New Zealand, all year round. And for many roles, experience is not required. While on-site accommodation is available in some areas.
New Zealand has eight main horticulture regions. Their unique weather conditions mean different crops grow better in some regions than others. However all regions are blessed with high sunshine hours, settled weather and warm temperatures - what's good for growing is also great for lifestyle.
Seasonal job sites to explore
There are various types of visas that you may be eligible to apply for. Work visas are for a temporary stay in New Zealand, but some can lead to residence. Resident visas, such as the Skilled Migrant Category, allow you to stay indefinitely and enjoy more of our state-funded public services.
Interested in coming to New Zealand?
Take the first step to a new life by registering your interest with Immigration New Zealand. We’ll send you personalised emails about job opportunities in your profession, life in New Zealand and choosing the right visa.It’s free and there’s no obligation.