Covid-19 restrictions mean there's no shortage of shearers at the moment, but Sir David Fagan sees trouble ahead for the industry.
The reason there were plenty of Kiwi shearers about right now was that they can't travel anywhere, the world champion told The Country's Jamie Mackay.
"We're not getting New Zealanders going back to Australia for the season. So they're here now shearing. I guess the winter time shearing's pretty good for the workforce."
The cost of travelling, plus being in quarantine for 14 days on either side of the Tasman, meant it wasn't worth the trip, Fagan said.
In fact, another shearing gun, Gavin Mutch had calculated it would cost approximately $28,000 to shear in Australia for a season.
Fagan reckoned Mutch's estimate "wouldn't be far out".
"Yeah I guess that's the quarantine fees that you'd pay each side of the Tasman if you're going to go over and come back - and then I guess loss of earnings for 28 days too."
Fagan predicted that not many Kiwis would consider it worth their while unless an Aussie contractor was "desperate" enough to pay their way over.
"The flow of shearers definitely won't be like it used to be."
While Covid-19 restrictions meant winter shearing looked good for New Zealand, Fagan predicted problems would arise later in the year.
"Where we're going to get in trouble is November through to February when we really rely ... on the UK, Ireland and French shearers from the Northern Hemisphere to come in."
A large number of these shearers come and work all over the country each year, so Mark Barrowcliffe from the New Zealand Shearing Contractor's Association was trying to get the government to recognise them as essential workers, Fagan said.
One shearing rite of passage scuppered by Covid-19 was Kiwis working their way around Europe - something Fagan said his son Jack had to deal with this winter.
"It's his first winter home now for 10 years ... so he's never experienced New Zealand winter for 10 years."
"He would be in the UK and particularly in France and Corsica and that part of the world."
Fagan said his son had learned a rather valuable lesson, despite being stuck in the less exotic location of Te Kuiti this year.
"He actually made really good money by staying home."
"It's a pretty good lifestyle overseas - but you can make good money here."
Also in today's interview: Fagan talked about low wool prices were affecting New Zealand shearers and how he's going in his new role as dairy farmer.