GRASP: increase in minimum wage - are you ready?


GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment Social Practice (GRASP) is about protecting the workers in our industry. The kiwifruit industry encourages working environments that promote the health, safety and welfare of all their workers. As we have seen in the past and quite recently, New Zealand is not immune to labour exploitation or modern slavery, even within the horticulture industry. If you employ staff directly, use contractor labour or a combination of both, you can have a positive effect on the working conditions on orchard.

You would have heard recently that the Government has increased the minimum wage, effective 1 April 2024. Principle 8.3 of the GRASP checklist and contractor checklist requires all workers to be paid at least the national minimum wage within regular working hours. See the table below for the new minimum hourly rates.


Wage Type 1 April - $/hr
Adult Minimum Wage $23.15
Starting Out / Training Minimum Wage $18.52

Be ready for this change by reviewing your contracts and notify any workers who may have had a change in their wages. Don’t forget about your contractors ‒ you’ll need to check they are also being paid fairly.

Catriona White, a grower in the Bay of Plenty, says being a good employer is not just about workers' pay.

“We also need to show that we are looking after them in terms of their work hours, breaks, facilities and the tools and equipment provided for them,” says Catriona.

If you want to attract really good workers to our industry, it is about more than just money ‒ some really small things that could go along way include providing a hot drink and biscuits as the weather starts to get cooler, keeping your orchard tidy, having fresh veggies or fruit trees that staff can help themselves to, and even having nice smelling soap and toilet paper can make a difference.

Worker Representation

This is a busy time of the season when there’ll be the most workers present on your orchard. This is also the time when appropriate worker representation needs to be decided. Worker representation is about ensuring workers have an agreed, fair, and transparent way of communicating and monitoring their interests, and is a requirement under GRASP Principle 2.1.

If you employ one or more workers and they have chosen to self-represent, you, the grower or management, need to appoint a Worker Representation or Management GRASP Liaison. The management GRASP Liaison role can be taken on by the grower or someone in management.

Catriona found using the worker representation decision tree in the Grower Manual useful in deciding the appropriate representation for their workers. She also noted that having print outs of specific documents on their staff notice board, such as the induction and training records, tool box meeting template, complaints process and polices, is a useful way to communicate to all their workers.

We also reached out to Rose Anastasi, General Manager of People and Safety at Baygold, who had some wise words for how growers can make grower representation easier.

“Working collaboratively with your workers will encourage good outcomes from them and if you do that, the pathway is simple,” says Rose.

“Don’t wait for someone to come forward with a concern ‒ be proactive and go to them first.”

If you have questions reach out to the extension team at