Inside Info: Vailima Orchard

Vailima Orchard is a successful, 4th generation family-owned business with over 200 hectares of Apple Orchards stretching over the Waimea Plains in Hope near Nelson. Vailima is passionate about providing top quality produce to our local market here in NZ, as well as exporting overseas. Currently we have 10 different varieties of apples with plans to continue to expand, grow and develop over the coming years.

We have 28 in our permanent team and at our peak time of the year, we have over 200 which includes our incredible RSE team. Our RSE team are from Samoa and Tonga, some of which have been returning to Vailima for 14 years. Vailima has a family culture and brilliant training processes in place to ensure everyone is given the tools they need to be able to achieve high work standards.

Vailima Orchard success: Meryn Whitehead, one of our permanent team, was successful in winning the regional Young Grower Award and then went on to win the National Young Grower Award for 2022. A brilliant achievement and shows an inspiring journey. Meryn started with the business in June 2020 on a fixed term contract and quickly stood out for showing a brilliant can-do attitude, retaining information well and being keen to learn and grow within the business. She moved into a permanent role in September 2020 and has now been trained in general orchard tasks, machinery operation, spray operation and supervising our teams over thinning and harvest. This journey shows that with a great attitude and drive how quickly you can go from a fixed term (casual) contract to an integral part of our permanent team – ‘your journey is in your hands’. See the news article here.

Vailima can offer you:

  • Fantastic on the job training
  • Development opportunities
  • Growth within the business and the industry
  • Primary ITO Qualifications in horticulture Level 3 and 4 and beyond.
  • Machinery experience
  • Job security
  • Becoming part of an already established team

What kind of jobs do we have at Vailima:

  • General orchard hand – tree training, pruning, grafting, tapenering, flower removal, apple thinning, harvest
  • Netting and structure development
  • Block development
  • Machinery operator including forklift operator, tractor operator, platform work and quad bike
  • Supervisor
  • Trainer
  • Team coordinator
  • Production manager
  • Operations manager
  • HR
  • Office / Admin

Vailima Orchard covers all stages of the harvesting process, we are always looking for new team to join our already established team. If horticulture is an industry that you are interested in, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us here.

Vailima Orchard is also a Youth Employment Success employer – check out their video HERE and take advantage of the opportunities on offer such as business walkthrough, industry entry discussion and mentoring.