Trainees well placed

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By IRIS RID­DELL

Giv­ing stu­dents a chance to live and work on a Kiwi farm is ev­ery­day busi­ness for Job Bru­ins.

Mr Bru­ins is man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Marvin Farm Ser­vices in Mata­mata, a po­si­tion he’s held for the past nine years.

‘‘They come here for var­i­ous rea­sons but there’s al­ways a good one: For a gap year, or be­cause they need to have so many years’ prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence for their diplo­mas and they choose New Zealand, or they come af­ter they’ve fin­ished col­lege be­fore go­ing back to the home farm to get some knowl­edge.’’

He also re­ceives re­quests from farm­ers around the coun­try, look­ing for will­ing work­ers to fill a tem­po­rary po­si­tion on the farm.

Re­fer­ring to an enor­mous board cov­ered with names and pho­to­graphs, Mr Bru­ins matches each ap­pli­cant to a well-suited farm.

‘‘They have to be an as­set to the farm­ing op­er­a­tion. It’s not a hol­i­day; it’s a work­ing hol­i­day.’’

Most of the ap­pli­cants are from abroad – pre­dom­i­nantly from Eng­land and Ire­land, and also Canada, Hol­land, Den­mark and France – but the ser­vice is also of­fered to Ki­wis.

Re­becca Turner, orig­i­nally from York­shire, got in­volved with the Marvin scheme nine years ago with a place­ment to com­plete her agri­cul­ture de­gree. She came back for five months last year and now holds a full­time po­si­tion on a farm in Te Poi.

‘‘It’s a bril­liant way to get used to the dairy in­dus­try in this coun­try and I’ve made some re­ally good friends,’’ she said.

‘‘Marvin is a re­ally good scheme for peo­ple from over­seas, be­cause they take care of ev­ery­thing.’’

When Ms Turner first ar­rived in New Zealand, she had never even milked a cow. Dur­ing her place­ments, she worked at more than six farms from Otoro­hanga to Feild­ing and learned ev­ery­thing she needed to know.

‘‘The farm­ers that take on Marvin staff are so good to you. They are happy to teach and you be­come part of their fam­ily, re­ally,’’ she said.

‘‘That’s one of the great things about New Zealand, peo­ple are will­ing to help.’’ About 80 to 100 peo­ple go through Marvin ev­ery year but Mr Bru­ins said they could do with more.

‘‘There’s a lot of de­mand but it’s about get­ting a good num­ber of the right staff. If we don’t have staff we can’t run, we’re like a shop with noth­ing on the shelves.’’

He said they were quite se­lec­tive with who they al­lowed in to the scheme and looked for cer­tain qual­i­ties.

‘‘They need to have good pa­pers, good char­ac­ter and ide­ally, prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence on a farm,’’ he said.

‘‘Dairy farm­ing is not for the faint of heart. It’s a good job and there’s good money to be made but you have to know what dis­ci­pline is. It means that ev­ery day, 5 o’clock, it’s cups on.’’

Mr Bru­ins came to New Zealand from Hol­land with his wife Door 35 years ago and they set up just out­side Mata­mata as or­chardists.

They later owned a shop in town, then bought Marvin Farm Ser­vices from pre­vi­ous owner Barry Ha­zle­hurst ‘‘when we were look­ing for an­other ad­ven­ture’’.

‘‘Un­for­tu­nately, Barry passed away ear­lier this month of a heart

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.