Summary of Feedback about MBIE Discussion Document - November 21, 2018

Thank you for the responses to the discussion document about the NZ labour inspectorate requirements regarding WWOOF volunteers. We received helpful emails with some interesting feedback that we have passed onto MBIE. Some of the emails are below. We also want to make it clear that the document was purely for discussion purposes and to get more ideas. It is based on what the government requires. However we don’t want to go down the path of having to sign contracts with WWOOFers as that is not a great start to welcome your guest. We have emailed MBIE, included host feedback, and showed them how Australia, Canada and countries similar to… Read More

WWOOF, Cultural Exchange and Tips on How to Make the Most Out of Your Profile -

A reminder about WWOOF and Cultural Exchange: WWOOF is about living and learning on organic farms and gardens. WWOOF hosts are expected to use ecologically sound methods and involve their WWOOFers primarily in organic growing, farming or gardening. Hosts demonstrate and teach WWOOFers a variety of organic gardening and farming practices. Joining in with daily family life is also part of the expectation. Cultural Exchange was created as there were people wanting to join WWOOF who were offering great experiences but not primarily focused on practicing organic principals. There were also WWOOFers joining who were not really interested in learning about organic farming practices. We do consider cultural exchange to… Read More

Summary of MBIE Meeting -

  The Long Awaited Meeting: Megan and I were only allocated an hour to meet with MBIE which was definitely not enough time to discuss everything I would have liked to. However we did get some useful information around what WWOOF needs to do to fit in with the labour laws. Below is a summary of what the MBIE officials said needs to happen; They said we need to separate the WWOOF volunteering experience from the food and board. According to MBIE if we are saying that it is an exchange, doing something for something, then it is considered gain or reward and therefore payment for work done. We need to show… Read More

UPDATE ON MBIE MEETING - September 25, 2018

Thank you to everyone who wrote in and offered us to use their profile as part of our case study to present to MBIE. We wanted to get a clear classification of where WWOOF hosts sit within the labour laws. The reality is that WWOOF is unique and doesn’t fit perfectly within New Zealand’s existing classification but our preference is for it to be most closely aligned with the volunteer or internship models (You can read more about this in the document link below). The NZ labour inspectorate has brought a focus on businesses who use ‘volunteers’ to do work that would normally be done by an employee. This focus… Read More

MBIE and IRD - August 25, 2018

Recognised Categories for WWOOF Following on from our last update we would like to invite hosts to be part of a case study for making submissions to the government. The aim is to have certain categories of WWOOFing recognised and accepted by MBIE and IRD. One of the categories we would like to propose to MBIE is a Cultural Category. This would include hosts who have no commercial aspect to their property. There are currently hosts who work in their home orchard, vegetable garden, look after hens for their own eggs or milk a house cow but they don’t really sell anything. WWOOFers join in with the hosts’ normal  daily life… Read More

Kauri Dieback - July 4, 2018

The kauri tree is among the most ancient trees in the world and native to our beautiful country. Found in the upper North Island regions, this magnificent tree that can live for over 2000 years could now be facing extinction. The kauri Dieback Disease is caused by a microscopic pathogen that infects kauri roots and literally starves trees to death. There is no cure for kauri dieback and the disease can be spread by just a pinhead of soil. This is why its important to know how you can help to protect our taonga . We can help reduce its spread by cleaning boots and equipment and avoiding kauri tree… Read More

Update - June 19, 2018

Hi all, Hope you’re all keeping warm with the colder temperatures approaching!  Before we get into the ‘business’ (can’t find a better word for it) part of this update, it is with very mixed feelings that I am saying goodbye!  I have been with WWOOF NZ for 7 years, longer than in any other job and I really loved my time here.  I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with fantastic hosts and WWOOFers, who have inspired me and most of the time ; ) made my work fun and enjoyable.  The reason for leaving is that I have taken on a new venture – an organic, raw, vegan food business,… Read More