Hosting American Students - February 21, 2019

Catherine Bayley, a senior lecturer of writing at the University of Maryland in the United States has contacted the WWOOF office about a writing class for her students to be carried out here in New Zealand. The students would work together on a farm each day and then in the evenings the students would reflect on that experience and write about elements of it. The class will be here in January 2020 around the 3rd – 17th and are looking for a farm to stay altogether who would be able to accomodate them. There will be between 10-15 students plus Catherine. The students would understand that they must be willing… Read More

Fire Safety -

Following on from the fires in Nelson I have spoken to a fire warden on how to keep safe and what to do if there is a fire. These are the key points: You should be looking/assessing your own properties from the perspective of keeping your house safe. Look at…/rural-home-fire-safety-check…/ You can also block downpipes and set up sprinklers on your roof. If you live mid slope and know there is too much vegetation around your house – make sure you and your family have an evacuation plan – and flag your letter box when you have left and shut the gate. In the event of being trapped in… Read More

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

E-Book about WWOOFing in NZ! - November 22, 2017

Here’s a link to an E-Book written by two German WWOOFers who travelled, learned and worked around NZ. Great read with beautiful images and free to download! Unfortunately only available in German at this time. This is what Michi and Rike have to say: “WWOOF war für uns der bisher beste Lebensabschnitt. Wir wollen das Modell mit dem Buch bekannter machen, Erfahrungswerte teilen und Anregungen geben.”

Travelling Journalist from Norway - October 26, 2017

We received a message from Mari Bareksten who works for the biggest travel magazine in Norway, called Magasinet Reiselyst and we also deliver stories to the biggest weekly magazine in Norway called Se og Hør, with a total of 600 000 readers,   She is coming to New Zealand in December and January to write several articles with her photographer boyfriend (Paul Hughson) who is a kiwi, but lives in Norway.   This will be published a 21-pages guide to New Zealand in March 2018.   She is looking to write an article about woofing at a sheep farm in New Zealand and also about the concept of woofing and will be based in Dunedin around Christmas.  Is there any interest in hosting two… Read More

Winter 2017 Update - July 12, 2017

Hi , If you’ve been feeling a bit like the person on the right lately, we’d just like to thank you for your patience and understanding regarding the website issues we’ve been having.   The security upgrade we mentioned before ended up with us not only having to change servers but also our hosting company, won’t bore you with the details but it should all be business as usual again now!  Please do let us know if you’re still having trouble. In this message we’ll concentrate on a little housekeeping and general thoughts and ideas around WWOOF, rather than rules and regulation imposed on us! Although, to reassure you, we are… Read More

End of Summer Update - April 7, 2017

Hi, It’s been another busy summer for WWOOF NZ with lots of new hosts and WWOOFers joining the WWOOF family. Below are some quotes from WWOOFers we’d like to share: “I really enjoy WWOOFing as I live like a local and get up with the sunrise and sleep not long after the sunset. I have learnt about the Maori culture, the hosts’ hobbies, their permaculture principles and have always been thanked for my work”.  “The wwoof experience in NZ was one of the best ideas for life of our family. We WWOOFed  for 3 months with our kids as a family”. “I have had the best time of my life through… Read More

Travelling chef – please contact the office if you can help! - January 27, 2017

Hello, My name is Victor, I’m a 26 years old French chef. I’m travelling the world with my best Friend , Ben, 27, who is a designer. We are travelling the world, making a documentary about food security. All around the world, we are meeting farmers,chefs,entrepreneurs, scientists that are trying to change our world in a way. Changing people’s way of consuming, changing people way of thinking. Our goal is to make a web série or even a movie that could raise awareness, making people thinking ” hey, if they can do it in India, Cambodia, or Bolivia, why can’t I do it ?” We are looking for every type of “profile”… Read More

IRD Update - November 24, 2016

If you have read the November update from IRD you will see they are reminding people about providing food and accommodation in return for work. We’ve had some people ask us how this affects them as WWOOF hosts. The term “gain or reward” has been around for some time – it’s the government saying that not all people are paid with money. Sometimes payment is accommodation, food, travel, services etc. The difference with WWOOF is that WWOOFers are not supposed to be employees, they go to hosts to live and learn on an organic property, learn about volunteering, maybe even learn how to run and manage an organic farm or… Read More

What I Learned from WWOOFing - October 6, 2016

Read Laura Flower‘s post in the Wasatch Community Gardens Blog What I learned from WWOOFing in New Zealand  

WWOOFer / Host appreciation – paying it forward - September 15, 2016

  This is an opportunity for you to show your appreciation to your outstanding WWOOFers, and WWOOFers to do the same for their favourite hosts!  We’ve all had them and you know what I’m talking about.  Below a few WWOOFer and host quotes to get you thinking: The atmosphere was simply perfect!! Our stay was way too short and we wish we could have stayed longer! Thank you so much for your amazing hospitality, the fun times and friendship!! I felt absolutely comfortable, home and welcome in a way I have not felt on my travels before. I don’t think it gets better than this, she is endlessly kind, patient,… Read More

Bulk messaging / no replies - September 13, 2016

We understand that WWOOFers emailing hosts and then not replying when hosts respond can be an issue for hosts. The problem arises when WWOOFers send messages to a number of hosts and then receive a number of positive responses. After deliberating for a few days they will pick the host they like best and confirm only with them without letting the other hosts know that they wish to decline their offer. This is understandably frustrating for hosts. On the other hand a WWOOFer may read a number of host profiles, spend time writing a personal message tailored to one particular host, and then not receive a reply at all or maybe… Read More

Cultural Exchange update - September 12, 2016

All new hosts are given clear definitions of WWOOF and Cultural Exchange and are taken through a series of questions to determine which program is most suitable for them.  At next year’s renewal date you will be given the opportunity to go through those questions to ensure we have you listed in the right program. You know what you can offer far better than we do! Just to clarify, a cultural exchange does happen with both programmes and it is a very important part of the experience. The difference comes in that WWOOF is a more specialised group which offers organic learning opportunities. Below are the definitions, if you are… Read More

Safe WWOOF Farms and the New HSWA Act - August 9, 2016

With the recent changes to The Health and Safety At Work Act 2015 (HSWA), we really wanted to make sure that we understood our obligations as an organisation and also make sure that we could answer your questions and give simple advice and guidelines. This got us thinking about the health and safety of our WWOOFers, and that it isn’t just about what WorkSafe wants us to do, but more about what each of us can do to keep our WWOOFers safe. For safe WWOOF farms we recommend: 1. Identify hazards on your farm 2. Protect people from the hazards 3. Educate every new visitor about the hazards For Step… Read More