WWOOF Autumn 2021 - April 12, 2021

  Hi all, as we move into colder seasons we hope you are coping with the disruption Covid-19 has brought and managing to “pivot” and keep yourselves afloat. Here at WWOOF HQ it has been quite a difficult time as you can imagine. Most of our lovely WWOOFers come from overseas, excited to experience New Zealand farming and family life. With the border closed to tourists for a year now we have seen an 80% reduction in the number of people joining. In light if this we have made renewing your WWOOF membership free. If you have already renewed, thank you, your next renewal will be free. WWOOFers have a… Read More

Roadside Stalls/Farm Shops - May 27, 2020

Is anyone missing lock down? We really enjoyed the extra time we had to spend with the family and more time for baking! Even though not much changed for us here on the farm, not having the pressure of the outside world seemed to make things easier. Over lock down we have been working on an idea we have had for some time. We want to create a directory of all the roadside stalls, farm shops, farmers markets, handmade items and craft stalls etc so it is easier for people to support local and buy local. I just discovered someone down the road selling walnuts that I didn’t even know… Read More

Level Three Restrictions - April 28, 2020

Moving into Level three we have had some queries about what this means for WWOOFers. The advice we have received from the National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC) and MBIE is that you can extend your bubble to another bubble if necessary and can move within your region. There are WWOOFers who are finding themselves in this situation. Firstly, the new host needs to be happy with accepting WWOOFers into their bubble and the WWOOFer would need to stay for the whole period we are in level three. WWOOFers can travel ONLY within their region they have been in during level four to join with a new join  host to become part… Read More

The Future of WWOOFing -

Back when WWOOF started in Europe it used to be “Working Weekends on Organic Farms.” This soon expanded to having WWOOFers during the week and New Zealand was one of the first countries to take WWOOFers from overseas. With the boarders closed to tourists in New Zealand for the near future we would like to encourage locals to go WWOOFing.  Once restrictions lift and domestic travel in New Zealand opens back up then we will see New Zealanders wanting to travel. A lot of people have had their OE (Overseas Experience) cancelled. WWOOFing is a way you can still have an OE (Organic Experience). We would really like to focus… Read More

How Social Distancing Works - March 24, 2020

The new Coronavirus may not show sign of infection for many days. How can one know if he/she is infected? By the time they have fever and/or cough and go to the hospital, the lung is usually 50% Fibrosis and it’s too late. Taiwan experts provide a simple self-check that we can do every morning. Take a deep breath and hold your breath for more than 10 seconds. If you complete it successfully without coughing, without discomfort, stiffness or tightness, etc., it proves there is no Fibrosis in the lungs, basically indicates no infection. In critical time, please self-check every morning in an environment with clean air. Everyone should ensure:… Read More

Hosts Offering Self-Isolation Accommodation - March 19, 2020

We have put together a list of Hosts that can help accommodate anyone who needs to self-isolate for two weeks. Please read the Hosts profile and contact the Hosts directly if this would suit you.   Robb  Fraser – Host ID#: 205 – Otorohanga, Waikato (Clean empty house available for one or two wwoofers. Plenty of open spaces and fresh air to get out and about, must have your own car). Heather Gregory – Host ID#: 60287 – Hastings (suitable for a couple of woofers if needed. Own bathroom and fridge can add cooking facilities) Kees and Jetse – Host ID#: 1141 – Motumaoho, Waikato ( self-contained granny flat with… Read More

Homemade Hand Sanitizer - March 17, 2020

Homemade Sanitizer: So simple if you can get hold of the ingredients. Mix 3/4 cup isopropyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol (for all our American members) or methylated spirits and 1/4 cup Aloe Vera Gel together and pour into a clean spray bottle for use. If you want to make it smell nice you can add a few drops of essential oil such as Lavender Oil or Tea Tree Oil. To help soften hands you can also add 1/4 teaspoon Vitamin E Oil.  There are good online, New Zealand websites where you can find these ingredients. Homemade Re-usable Toilet Paper: With all the madness on toilet paper going off the shelves (wouldn’t… Read More

Coronavirus - March 16, 2020

WWOOF will be affected by the coronavirus as we are directly involved with tourists. We do not know the full extent of how this will affect WWOOF. We are already aware that many flights are being cancelled coming into NZ so we are taking measures to try keep the WWOOF demand going over the coming few months. We are encouraging New Zealanders to try WWOOFing instead of that overseas trip they had planned. Also after tourists self-isolate they have the all clear according to the ministry of health so it may just be a bit more of a burden on tourists and affect travel plans for the first two weeks…. Read More

WWOOFing and how to use the site - March 3, 2020

We have a few features on our website we want to let you know about and show you how to use them. First up is the Calendar:  The calendar allows you to select when you are available or block off dates you are unavailable. It is helpful to use the calendar feature as it shows clearly if you are available to WWOOF and decreases unnecessary requests and disappointments. If you are not WWOOFing for a short time the best thing to do is to make yourself unavailable on the calendar. If you plan on not WWOOFing for a longer period but would still like to keep your membership active then… Read More

Help us to Help you! -

We would love to hear your ideas and suggestions on how to improve your WWOOFing experience. We want to know what works and what doesn’t. We are constantly working on the WWOOF site and updating. It would be really helpful to hear from our WWOOFers about why you chose WWOOF. How did you hear about WWOOF, what made you go with WWOOF over other options, what is it you are wanting to get out of your WWOOF experience. what do you expect from WWOOF Hosts and any other information that you think would be helpful for us to insure WWOOF is a user-friendly site and up to date with expectations…. Read More

Video Competition! - February 18, 2020

We want to showcase some of the fun activities and projects you have accomplished over the years. Who can participate? Any host or WWOOFer who shared moments to create a project. In order to guide you in the process of presenting your project, we included some questions, but feel free to add what comes to your mind. Questions that can help: What is the name of this project you’d like to share with us? When did it happen and how long did it take? What was the goal of the project and how many people participated? Which activities were done during this project? What was your role in it? Which… Read More

Housekeeping -

We have a few functions on our website we want to let you know about and show you how to use them. First up is the Calendar:  The calendar allows you to select when you are available, booked or block off dates you are unavailable. It is helpful to use the calendar feature as it shows clearly what is happening at your place and decreases unnecessary requests and disappointments. If you are going away or not hosting WWOOFers for a short time the best thing to do is to make yourself unavailable. If you are travelling or not hosting for a longer period login in to your profile, go to… Read More

Korean WWOOFers -

WWOOF Korea has requested to work closer with us to encourage Koreans to WWOOF in New Zealand. WWOOF is very popular in Korea and New Zealand is a popular destination so WWOOF Korea will partner with us and help people interested in WWOOFing to sign up. WWOOFers will be able to go to the office in Korea and sign up with the help of WWOOF Korea. If you are particularly interested in hosting Korean WWOOFers we would love to hear from you. The WWOOFers will still go through the usual process of signing up on the WWOOF NZ site in order to have an active membership . This is just… Read More

WWOOF turns 50! - June 24, 2019

With WWOOF’s 50th birthday coming up in 2021 we wanted to gather some short videos, stories and photos from our awesome WWOOF members. This is a chance for us to thank you for such a wonderful community you have created through WWOOF. We want to showcase internationally some of the fun activities and projects you have accomplished over the years. Who can participate? Any host or WWOOFer who shared moments to create a project. In order to guide you in the process of presenting your project, we included some questions, but feel free to add what comes to your mind. Questions that can help: Are you a host or WWOOFer… Read More

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 accommodate 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 https://fireandemergency.nz/…/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