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Animal Care, Projects, Housekeeping

Payment: Accommodation & Paid ($585/week (minus tax & accom))
Location: Kaikoura town
Region: Christchurch & Canterbury
Experience: Limited Experience Necessary
Listing Added: 11/08/2020

( PLEASE answer the questions I ask at the end - thanks )

How about joining my small team to help me with: animal care, gardening, projects, maintenance and housekeeping = on a small 5-acre lifestyle block farm in Kaikoura, North Canterbury = on New Zealand’s South Island?

Positions coming up:
1 person = single bed = shepherd hut = to start Tuesday, 18 August (or soon after)

Hi, my name is Kevin. I am from the UK, and have lived in NZ for twelve years. I have 30+ FARM ANIMALS; go off-site LLAMA TREKKING; and have six on-site, unusual RENTAL PROPERTIES (Train Carriage, Yurt, Tipi, House Truck, Colonial Wagon, cute Farmers Cottage).

My aim is to constantly move toward more organics and increased self-sufficiency =  already producing a small range of meat, fruit and vegetables. I am finding progress hard and too slow, but (with your help) I do the best I can!

Here is a summery of the main tasks you will be helping with:
    1. ANIMAL HELPER ~ There are 30+ animals (llamas, alpaca, pigs, deer, sheep, chickens, turkey, collie dog, etc.) You will get involved in their welfare, feeding, mucking out (removing poo from) their fields and cages, etc.
    2. HOUSEKEEPING ~ rental property cleaning and laundry
    3. CUSTOMER CARE ~ help guests staying and llama trekking customers enjoy visiting my 30+ Farm Animals
    4. PROJECT WORK ~ various projects and site maintenance come up throughout the year & seasonally, including: painting, electrical, fencing, digging, carpentry, chopping wood, animal cage repairs, …
    5. GARDENING HELP ~ the house garden needs weeding, grass & hedge cutting, etc. Plus the new raised vegetable beds and poly tunnel will need your help to provide food
    6. DOMESTIC HELP ~ help keep the main house and your facilities clean and tidy, cook meals for everyone, bake cakes, etc.
    7. GUEST CHECK-IN’s ~ we all share check-in duties

You will help with a range of the above tasks, depending on the time of day, time of year, the weather, and what needs doing. You will spend about one-quarter of your time with animals; more than half on projects & maintenance, and about one-quarter on housekeeping (these ratios change seasonally, and according to rental bookings).

CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS = 20 bottles of banana wine need bottling. Just upgraded and decorated ($16K project) two of your bedrooms and your common room. Just built a new large garden equipment shelter - we will be moving stuff into it next.
Vegetable production is currently undergoing a complete revamp and upgrade while we build a new, considerably enlarged, raised-bed, vegetable garden area. So far, we have fenced the area, prepared the ground, dug irrigation trenches and built six beds, now full of compost. Vegetable growth has resumed from scratch, so the poly tunnel is full of seedlings and small plants waiting to be transferred into the new raised beds. Irrigation is 75% complete. Some of the plants are ready to eat, so I can provide some of your salad and vegetables, with more to come as the new plants grow and mature.

Your on-site accommodation is: $125/week, single/private room, or $200/week for two in a shared/double room (deducted from pay), and includes: laundry, private bedroom (two double rooms, and a single-bed shepherd hut), shared staff bathroom and kitchen = all in separate buildings from the main farm house. You all share your own lounge / common room, which has:
>> a cinema space with sofa, 4K x 58” TV, satellite freeview, Blu-Ray player, five-speaker surround system, your own Netflix subscription, plus I have 700+ DVD’s and Blu-Ray’s you can borrow.
>> the common room also provides a relaxing and casual space with sofa, bean bags and tip-back leather chair.
There is free wireless wi-fi broadband / internet and a spare computer. I have some bicycles you can use to get into town, or tour around the sights (it is a flat 4km ride! - although I go into town often and can give you a lift).
NB: It is not an option to stay on-site in a car / campervan, or elsewhere in Kaikoura – I need you on-site to help at various times of the day, and available at short notice.

Socially = we occasionally have board-game, movie & popcorn evenings; have a massage table; yoga mats; summertime barbecues; go into town for quiz nights; etc. It is up to you what you help create and join in with! You are welcome to join me when I go into town socially, for example: yoga and salsa classes, to play squash, ...

Clothing = there are loads of farm clothing you can use, including warm socks, coats and gum boots (wellies!) So please do not buy anything to come and stay here!

Salary = the corona virus has recently changed everything. Staff have been receiving 100% of the government's wage subsidy ($585/week, minus tax), feeding themselves, and paying $125 per week (each) for their on-site accommodation (details above). I suspect this will need to continue for a few more weeks, so come here expecting the above, including me registering you for the wage subsidy. We start at 8:15am; paid work hours = 5.75 hours/day, for 5 days/week, so two days off per week. (Once the effects of the virus subside, we will return to a six hours x six day working week!)

There is also a small additional voluntary aspect to working here (about an hour a day, seven days):
>> as my vegetable production resumes and develops, you will benefit from learning about food production and (hopefully) enjoy eating what we produce. But I hope you appreciate, I do not pay you to make your own food?
>> it is similar for some aspects of animal feeding and care = zoos and animal parks do this through voluntary help too!
>> we all share guest check-in duties

Family + community = hard to explain (but I am going to try)
What I am offering is not a job. Earning money is only part of what you get from being here.
My offer is that you become a member of my extended family, and enjoy a lifestyle working experience. Joining my small team brings a range of benefits and outcomes: We all share and develop our skills and experience, you learn new things, receive things from and give back to your new family, like-mindedness, investing in something worthwhile, making a difference, and being paid for contributing toward our little community. It is almost like you are joining a training college - would a college pay you to learn from them? If you 'get' what I am trying to convey, please apply to join me here in Kaikoura?

Stay and notice = the minimum stay is a month. Some have stayed more than six months – (all being well) the longer the better, from my point of view. I ask for at least one weeks notice of leaving.

Those here decide when to leave, which means I only get about a week’s notice. PLEASE only apply for the positions listed above. I am not able to save your details for other positions in the future. I advertise when I know position(s) are coming up.

You must have some previous animal, pet or farm experience, and hopefully you have experienced outdoor work or enjoy some outdoor hobbies. I also look for experience using farm, garden, and DIY tools? Most of the work is fairly easy, often loads of fun. A brilliant chance for you to learn more about working on a small farm, in the outdoors, with accommodation and animal care. Some daily tasks are physical, so you will need at least average fitness. You will be meeting and greeting my guests, so your spoken English must be very good, and you must have a presentable appearance.

Because my needs (and your travel plans & dates) usually change, I tend to book you in, only a few days or up to a couple of weeks in advance (positions coming up are listed above). I do not book helpers in until you are in NZ. I am not able to sponsor workers to come from abroad. You must have (at least) a NZ working holiday visa, or be an Australian or NZ resident/citizen. I am very uncomfortable having you travel a long distance to come here, so you must already be in Wellington, or on the South Island. FYI: We are 2.5 hours from Christchurch, 2 hours from Blenheim, and 2.5 hours from Picton (in Marlborough).

The farm is just 4km from Kaikoura town centre. (do not worry if you have not got transport, I will pick you up in town!) 

If you are interested, or you have some questions, please send me a message, including: your PHONE NUMBER; some interesting details about yourself (help me to select YOU); your pet, animal, farm, DIY, machines, tools, housekeeping, or relevant experience; where you are now; your nationality; male/female(!); travel dates; C.V. (resume), etc. Please confirm you have a NZ working visa, or similar? Hopefully you already have an IRD number?

Please do not telephone; I prefer to read about you first - thanks!

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