Nearly 80 local jobs will be created at EastPack's new commercial sample collection and lab testing service at Te Puke.
Positions available range from field samplers to lab technicians and supervisors to fill demand from January to June during the kiwifruit season.
EastPack chief executive Hamish Simson said he was excited to announce the launch of the company's fully independent lab Pinpoint Laboratory Services.
Pinpoint has been confirmed by Zespri as one of the testing providers for the 2021, 2022 and 2023 seasons.
"Following a robust and successful tender process to collect and test a portion of the industry volume we are building a new lab facility at our Quarry Rd site in Te Puke, as the forecasted volume will require a significant increase in current lab size and capacity," Simson said.
The new purpose-built lab facility would be up and running by early in the New Year, ready for the Pinpoint team to start the 2021 season.
"The Pinpoint team will be collecting and testing samples from allocated orchards across the Bay of Plenty and we look forward to offering another great service to our region's growers."
Pinpoint operations manager Sasha Thomson said the sampling and maturity clearance testing service was an essential part of the industry framework and helps growers make informed decisions about the best time to harvest their crop.
To meet demand, they are recruiting for seasonal sample collectors, laboratory technicians, supervisors, and other key roles.
"Full training is provided for all of our roles. The field sampling roles are outdoors, driving to orchards within the area from Opotiki to Katikati, and collecting kiwifruit samples. Our lab-based roles are in our new laboratory in Te Puke.
"Whether you're a local looking for seasonal employment, semi-retired and want to get out and about, someone looking to return to the workforce, a student looking to earn some extra cash or just looking to spend some time experiencing and exploring the Bay of Plenty, we'd love to talk to you more about our opportunities at Pinpoint."
Jobseekers can find out more about the newly created positions available online at www.pinpointlabs.co.nz
Sasha Thomson breaks the myths about lab work
Myth #1: You will be stuck inside all day
Half of our team is field-based, meaning they are out on the road and on orchards all day collecting samples to take back to the lab for testing. This role is suited to someone with a full NZ driver's licence who likes keeping active and fit and is happy working solo. We arm them with a car, phone, and safety gear and off they go for the day getting to see some of the most beautiful parts of the Bay and being paid for it.
Myth #2: It's boring
You won't find the team clock-watching here. Inside the lab there are seven different seated and standing stations to switch things up with different tasks throughout the day. We have music on and are installing a big new sound system in the new lab ready for next season. It's a high-energy place with a good crew and culture at the heart of our decisions. We have lots of fun and lots of friendships have been made along the way.
Myth #3: You have to wear a white coat
You won't see any white coats in our lab. We dress for comfort in tidy casual wear. We even wear our pyjamas to work once in a while on PJ day.
Myth #4: You need a qualification to work for a lab
Most of our roles don't require any previous experience. Yes, we have a couple of highly technical roles, but we hire on attitude and team fit and provide full training for our new recruits. Our training includes a practical learning and team bonding day which is fully paid and takes place before you hit the tools at the start of the season.
Myth #5: There are no days off
We offer a range of shifts including student, night and main, which is broken into early and mid starts. At the peak, we can offer six days on then always have a day rostered off.
Myth #6: It's only a short-term job
Our peak season in the lab runs from January to June, but there are opportunities for some of the team to stay on through to November each year to undertake post-harvest sampling and bud and flower counts. One of our seasonal team members works with us for 10 months of the year, and has been returning for several seasons. There are also other opportunities for extended work with our packhouse partners in this growing industry.