Duncan Garner: Young people sitting idle in NZ - get off your backsides and down to the orchards

Opinion 10/02/2021

OPINION: What on earth has got into us?

We are short of lemon pickers or citrus pickers, is it the kind of work we reserve for immigrants to come and do? Or do we think we are above this kind of work?

Are we soft? Are we lazy? Is it too tough?

Whatever it is, Kiwis are turning down $35 an hour, free lunch, daily transport, and a $100 bonus if you work beyond 40 hours a week.

Nah sorry too busy, I'm on TikTok, like my video so I get more followers.

When did we start opting out of hard work? I back us as hard workers - I don't subscribe to this theory that we are lazy.

But maybe I've been too generous, maybe I missed something? Have we got just a little bit precious?

Maybe we have. 

And why isn't Work and Income matching fit and able young people with these orchards? 

No picking lemons, no dole.

We have tens of thousands of young people sitting idle in New Zealand; not training, not working, not studying. Get them off their backsides and down to the orchards, how hard is it?

Maybe it's been too easy to get cheap workers from the Pacific and it's good for them, too, as the money is sent home to strengthen their villages. 

And the truth is the orchard owners like the immigrants because they'll work their arses off for less and not moan. 

But surely we can pick our own fruit? Or is this the one back-breaking COVID-19 test we are going to fail?

Maybe we have just gone a little soft - just a little.

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.