In a time when the world is recovering from the ongoing impacts of Covid-19, people and businesses struggle and unemployment expected to increase, you'd think a major Bay of Plenty industry crying out for workers to fill more than 14,500 jobs, pretty swiftly, would be inundated with inquiries to fill those spots.
But, apparently not.
Border closures have meant there is a lack of overseas workers in New Zealand, and as the kiwifruit industry is a big employer of international visitors on working visas the kiwifruit industry is facing a critical labour shortage relying on Kiwis to fill those positions.
The kiwifruit industry is of huge importance to our regional and national economy. Its global revenue is expected to jump from more than $2 billion in 2017 to $6b by 2030 - but if those jobs aren't filled that growth doesn't seem likely.
In 2019 the kiwifruit industry was worth more than $1.5b in the Bay of Plenty alone.
New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated chief executive Nikki Johnson said the number of job seekers in the Bay of Plenty had increased substantially since the onset of Covid-19 and welcomed them to join their booming industry.
But local kiwifruit orchards haven't seen interest from locals and Kiwis being too "picky" has been highlighted as one of the reasons behind it. Other reasons include workers being treated "poorly" in the industry "when it comes to staff, their wages, welfare and treatment".
There will, unfortunately, always be good and bad in every industry. Every person deserves to be treated fairly in their workplace and no one should ever have to put up with anything less.
And if that's someone's reason for not wanting to work in the industry, fair enough - but perhaps they could find another orchard to work for before cutting off the entire industry?
The issue of Kiwis being picky however, riles me.
I'm a firm believer of no job being beneath anyone.
Any one of us can never know what kind of situation we may find ourselves in at some point in the future. We may one day find that one of those jobs that perhaps we used to scrunch our noses up at is one we desperately need to survive.
If anyone eats kiwifruit or even benefits in some way, directly or indirectly, from a thriving kiwifruit industry - and I'd say most of us who live in the Bay of Plenty do - they are not too good to be working in an orchard.
Every job has its place in the world and every job contributes to the local economy in which you live. If we want that economy to be a thriving one, everyone needs to do their part as a worker, as a consumer or both.
Also, isn't it better for someone to be employed, learning a new set of skills or improving what they already have, than not being employed at all? They're still earning money, able to meet new people, keeping active and you get to be outdoors during the best time of the year.
So, for anyone in need of work but find themselves spending their time with that group of Kiwis who are too picky to work in a kiwifruit orchard I'd suggest they get down from their high-horse.