Registered Employment Agency and Agricultural Investment

Registered Employment Agency and Agricultural Investment

Application - Employers
Application -
Dairy Farm Jobs

F.A.Q.

Working farm holidays in New Zealand

Click on the section title/question listed below to go straight to that area of questions.

Who or what is Marvin Farm Services?

Q: 

What is Marvin Farm Services?

A: 

Marvin Farm Services is a family-run employment agency providing relief staff to farming businesses throughout the country.  This successful system has been operating for over 35 years, and so far nearly 4,000 applicants have enjoyed the Marvin service.

Q: 

What does Marvin Farm Services do?

A: 

Through the Temporary Work Visa system, Marvin Farm Services is able to offer skilled young workers from Europe and other parts of the world the opportunity to travel and work in New Zealand, typically for a period of one year. We help you through the process of getting to New Zealand, carefully audit potential employers and continue to provide support throughout your Working Holiday.

What is a Working Holiday?

Q:

What is a Working Holiday?

A: 

A Working Holiday gives successful applicants the opportunity to work on a variety of different farms throughout New Zealand. The length of the positions would be a minimum of one week, up to maybe 10-12 weeks, with staff working on sometimes eight different farms during a seven or eight month period. Work is almost guaranteed full time, but Marvin Farm Services is quite happy for staff to take time off between jobs to explore the country. We strongly recommend all staff make themselves available over the busy calving period July to September and the holiday period December through to early February. 

Q: 

Is July / August the only time to start a New Zealand Working Holiday? 

A: 

Not at all, but we recommend dairy workers arrive July / August at the latest in order to catch the busy calving period. This job is usually one of the longest our staff will get (normally 6-10 weeks), and is a great way to get quickly up to speed with the New Zealand way of farming, allowing them to confidently move on to jobs with greater responsibility (if they want to) and working their way towards management positions.

Q: 

What if I can’t travel to New Zealand at that time? 

A: 

Applicants who are only available later in the year will certainly have plenty of opportunities, and we can normally still find a good range of jobs around the country. For tractor drivers, the busiest period starts in early October with spring planting and silage making, then runs through until April/ May.

What about Work Visa / Permit?

A: 

Marvin Farm Services prefers applications mainly from those who are eligible to obtain a Working Holiday Visa from NZ Immigration … For criteria, see www.immigration.govt.nz.

Is the programme open for New Zealanders as well?

A: 

Marvin Farm Services is open for skilled workers from New Zealand, Europe and other parts of the world, as long as they meet our criteria.

What types of job are available?

Q: 

What types of job are available?

A: 

Dairy farming: general work as would be found on any dairy farm, from milking to grass land management and animal care.
Contracting: tractor and truck driving, etc.

Q: 

How much responsibility will I have?

A: 

We find that Marvin Farm Services relief staff do generally have the practical experience needed to be able to take senior positions and take on greater levels of responsibility, but that’s not always what everyone wants. If you prefer to work as an assistant alongside a farmer rather than in a senior position working alone, that’s fine with us.

Q: 

Are all the jobs relief work?

A: 

Although a large part of our business is placing skilled workers where they’re needed to help cover busy periods, holidays or where farmers simply need ‘an extra pair of hands’, Marvin Farm Services also has permanent positions available for those staff who would prefer to stay in one place for the duration of their Working Holiday.

Q: 

What constitutes a permanent position?

A: 

Permanent positions are where Marvin Farm Services will place staff on a particular farm for at least one full season, usually New Zealanders or experienced overseas farmers (both single and married). The New Zealand dairy season runs from 1st June each year through to 31st May the following year. The overseas applicants would be required to have a long term temporary visa or permanent residency. These positions are generally full time managers, single or married experienced farmers through to sharemilkers.

Q: 

Is the application process different for a permanent position?

A: 

No, there is no difference.

What about tractor work?

Q: 

Are there opportunities for tractor work?

A: 

Contractors book Marvin F S staff from the start of October till January for grass silage work, and from mid February till May for the maize silage and grain harvest seasons.

Q: 

What are the basic requirements?

A: 

Drivers must have a full driver’s license for tractor work, and class C for truck driving.  We strongly recommend that you sit the class C category before you come to NZ, as this will make you a lot more flexible for your employer. Many contractors use trucks rather than tractors and trailers for carting grain and silage.

Q: 

What about accommodation?

A: 

Accommodation will be organised by the contractor, but both board and accommodation will have to be paid for by yourself.

Q: 

When would I get time off?

A: 

Time-off is generally when it rains and the crop is too wet to harvest for a few days.   This happens a lot! Other than that, drivers have about six weeks off during January and February, till the start of the maize harvest.

Working conditions, wages and time off?

Q: 

How can I be sure of the conditions I’ll be working in?

A: 

Marvin Farm Services checks every employer to ensure they will treat our staff with the respect they deserve, offering good working conditions and genuine opportunities to gain experience. This is where Marvin stands out from other companies offering apparently similar opportunities. Farming in New Zealand is hard work, just as it is anywhere else, but the employers we send staff to are fair, and we keep in regular contact throughout your stay to make sure everyone is happy and enjoying themselves.

Q: 

What are the wages like?

A: 

Marvin Farm Services staff are getting above award wages, with higher rates of pay for work over and above 50 hours per week. Under 50 hours per week, you will be guaranteed a minimum wage equal to the average farm workers wage in New Zealand. Do remember that the farmer provides free board and accommodation on top of the wage, as well as covering the cost of travel to get to work. Because of this, wages paid are wages saved and nothing comes out other than for private use.                                                                                                        Marvin F S staff are paid directly by the farmer, not by the Marvin office.

Q: 

What type of accommodation can I expect?

A: 

Accommodation is of a highly acceptable standard and is provided free of charge by the farmer. Many farmers in New Zealand have an outside room, which often has bathroom facilities, which can give more privacy, with some larger farms having shared staff houses. Meals are sometimes eaten with the family, or you may be able to cook for yourself, with basic food costs refunded. We receive very few complaints from our staff about the accommodation.

Q: 

Do I have to pay any money to Marvin?

A: 

Farmer clients pay Marvin Farm Services a commission, so nothing has to be deducted from staff wages. We do charge a minimal amount per application to cover administration and support services, from initial queries about flights and visas to ongoing support throughout your stay.

Q: 

What about time off?

A: 

Marvin Farm Services staff can arrange pre-planned time off after consultation with the Marvin office, although you will not be paid whilst between jobs (i.e. on holiday) and not working. However, all our staff do receive holiday pay included in their wages (at 8% of total pay).

Q: 

How do staff travel between jobs?

A: 

Most New Zealand Marvin Farm Services staff generally buy their own transport during their first few weeks. About 70% of overseas staff buy cars to get to them to their jobs and for exploring the country whilst here. The farmer pays a travel allowance to the Marvin staff to travel from one job to the next whether they travel by car or public transport. 

What if there’s a problem with the job?

Q: 

What happens if I don’t like the farmer I’m working for?

A: 

We generally have very good feedback from our staff regarding the farmers they’ve been working for. However, it does sometimes happen that people don’t ‘get on’ or there are other reasons a particular working relationship is not sustainable. We’re here to help, and if we are unable to resolve the issues, we will do our very best to find alternative work placements – this support and commitment to having happy staff is what sets Marvin Farm Services apart from other agencies, or applying for a job yourself from overseas where you have no control over how good the job will be. 

Q: 

What if I change my mind about the Working Holiday?

A: 

Very few applicants change their mind once they have started the application process, mainly because the chance to explore New Zealand whilst gaining valuable work experience is such a great opportunity. But if the situation should arise, it is only common courtesy that you contact the office immediately!

Q: 

But what about emergencies?

A: 

Clearly, there are circumstances when a staff member has to leave (either permanently or temporarily) at short notice, such as a family crisis back at home, for example. At Marvin Farm Services, we’re sympathetic to such situations, and will do everything we can to give staff the support and help they need, even if this means returning home immediately.

Will I have access to medical and dental treatment?

Q: 

What do I do if I need to see a doctor?

A: 

Doctor’s costs have to be met privately. There is a standard fee of around NZ$25 per consultation (it’s the same for all New Zealanders also), plus the cost of any treatment. Most small farming towns will have a doctors’ surgery. 

Q: 

And what about dentists?

A: 

All dental treatments and inspections are paid for by the individual at the time of any appointment. Marvin Farm Services staff will be able to access this service just like anyone else living here.

Q: 

What about the cost of major treatments or if I’m in an accident?

A: 

Accidents and trauma are dealt with in the same way as in Europe, with local hospitals having emergency departments. The priority is to provide treatment as required. As a worker in New Zealand, your employer pays an insurance (called ACC) which covers the cost of any trauma treatment. Other illnesses will be covered by the health insurance you take out as part of your travel arrangements.

Who makes the travel arrangements?

Q: 

Who makes the travel arrangements? 

A: 

We work closely with a travel consultant, John Hickey, at Travel 2 Ltd, who we’ve used successfully for a number of years to secure great deals on flights for our overseas workers. Once an application is accepted, he will liaise with you on travel and work-visa information, and can advise on the most flexible options available for flights based on your requirements.

Q: 

Do I have to use Travel 2 Ltd? 

A: 

You are, of course, at liberty to make your own arrangements. The types of air ticket Travel 2 offer give the greatest flexibility and allow a selection of stopovers on the way home, and we’ve found some of our staff in the past have regretted not paying extra for this flexibility.

What should I bring with me?

Q: 

How much money do I need to bring with me? 

A: 

We generally arrange for the arrival dates of successful applicants to coincide with their first job here in New Zealand. It is the responsibility of each applicant to provide for their own accommodation, meals, transport, etc. until they arrive on the first job, with new staff members from as far afield as the UK, Ireland and the rest of the world, typically given three or four days to get over jet lag before they start working. So you only need enough money to keep yourself for the first four days after arriving in New Zealand, plus any spending money to see you through until first pay day which is normally at the end of the first week’s work.

Q: 

What clothing do I need? 

A: 

Marvin Farm Services has secured a discount for all staff members with one of the leading agricultural merchant chains, RD1, which has stores nationwide. Most staff therefore take the opportunity to buy overalls, waterproofs, work boots, etc once they get here and have a clearer idea of what’s needed for the job. So apart from some general working clothes, and obviously your holiday togs, you can keep luggage to a minimum.

Q: 

How about partners, spouses and children? 

A: 

In most cases, our relief staff travel alone. Where couples or families wish to work in New Zealand we usually find it is preferable to apply for a long-term position to give an element of stability, and to ensure we’re able to provide suitable working and living conditions. However, there is no reason why a range of jobs in different areas cannot be arranged.

What if I’m considering emigration?

Q: 

Can Marvin F S help if I’m considering emigration? 

A: 

A Marvin Farm Services Working Holiday is a great way to see a range of farming operations and areas within New Zealand if you are considering emigration. If you have specific areas you would prefer to target, or certain types of farming, get in touch with us to discus how we can help you get the information you need.

Q: 

Is it possible for Marvin F S to find full-time jobs?

A: 

Yes. We are able to find full-time employment, whether this is the long-term view, or as a starting point to launch off into a career or start your own business. For many who emigrate, even if they want to eventually buy their own farm, working for others is the best way to learn the New Zealand way of farming.

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