Psa cost Varinder Singh his house.
The kiwifruit worker says he could not keep up with the mortgage payments.
''It was too hard for us, and it really upset my family. They were sad. We were even thinking we would all have to move to Australia and what will happen to us?''
He says the struggle lasted two years following the outbreak of Psa in 2010.
Singh's family of six including his wife, his two children and his parents were worried about their future.
''It was tough. It was a big struggle looking for a job when work finished at the packhouse.''
Talking to the Bay of Plenty Times at a Tauranga orchard, Singh credits his current boss Braden Hungerford for helping pull through.
Standing beside a wooden pallet underneath the canopy, fellow workers tip kiwifruit from baskets around their necks.
''He saved us,'' Singh says.
Hungerford offered him work to tide him over, even though he had only worked for him part-time
in the past.
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''I am really lucky.''
Today Singh is Hungerford's most loyal employee and his orchard supervisor. He has also been able to buy another house in Te Puke.
Clayton Pearson has left his wife Joanne and children Achilles and Arvah at home in the Solomon Islands.
He will not see them again until September, but it's a sacrifice the 32-year-old is willing to make.
Pearson is one of 2700 Recognised Seasonal Employer recruits based in the Western Bay for the kiwifruit season.
''This job is really important for my family and I feel very lucky,'' he says.
Talking to the Bay of Plenty Times at the Kiwi Coral Backpackers in Te Puke, kiwifruit workers are roasting pigs heads in the oven, boiling taro, eating breakfast, on the internet and socialising in small groups.
Its 9am and Pearson is stretched out on an armchair. He says his job at Seeka will enable him to pay for school fees, fuel, electricity bills and '' take the children to the clinic quickly if they get sick''.
It's the third season Pearson has worked in the industry and this year he is on the strapping machine at Transpack.
''I look after the pellet once the stackers finish building it. I like my job because I get to move around the packhouse and meet people who are really friendly.''
His shift typically starts at 8pm and finishes at 7am but can change.
''If there is not many bins it can be a short run.''
Being away from loved ones is difficult, but Pearson catches up with them online.
The most significant adjustments, however, were the weather, which ''is really cold'' getting used to street lights and the new big malls.
Qian Ping is on a working visa and using the money she makes from packing kiwifruit to tour New Zealand.
She has travelled from Malaysia with her sister, Qian Ni. It is their first kiwifruit season but they are familiar with the horticulture sector.
The pair started in Hastings where they picked apples.
Ping said working at Trevelyan's Pack & Cool was a far cry from her office job in Johor, but the 23-year-old was relishing the challenge.
''It is very different, but I am enjoying it.''
The duo will head to the South Island once the harvest ends.
''This country has some really beautiful scenery, and we are lucky to be able to travel and work along the way.''
Calum Spankie is not afraid to make a change, and his career reflects his give it a go attitude.
The EastPack Edgecumbe site manager says he has always enjoyed management but never imagined it would be in kiwifruit.
In 2010 he moved back to Tauranga from Queensland following a job as the electrical manager for the largest trade exhibition company in Australia.
He took a position running one of the grading lines at EastPack Quarry Rd and quickly progressed through the ranks, but says the industry took him by surprise.
''At the time the role was going, I thought it sounded interesting, and I really enjoyed it. I, like a lot of people, didn't know what a line manager actually did and I thought am I even qualified and can I do this?''
''Obviously, I could, there are a lot of challenges in this game and every year is different. I guess being quick on my feet and a fast learner really helped.''
The Edgecumbe plant has 250 seasonal employees and 18 permanent staff.
He helps showcase the the kiwifruit industry at local career expos.
''We want to let people know there is some career progression.''
When one of Eric Northcote's friends who played golf every day ''popped off at age 77'' it was a sooner rather than later moment.
''We started to think we needed to do something now.''
Northcote and his partner Sarah rented out their Kapiti Coast house five months ago and hit the road in their caravan.
The 67-year-old says they haven't regretted a moment and enjoy the lifestyle.
The couple are parked up at Trevelyan's Pack & Cool camping ground. Both have jobs in the packhouse.
''It's hard yakka,'' he says.
''It's probably the hardest job I have ever done. But we are enjoying it.''
Northcote has spent the last 12 years building street food trailers including pie carts, ice cream trailers and coffee carts.'
At the end of the season, the couple plan to drive north and explore the bays.
In the meantime, they are busy making friends.
''We have met some amazing people, everyone is really friendly, and the facilities at the camping ground are fantastic. Everyone that we have spoken to who is on the road says they just love it.''