A study of seasonal employment patterns in the horticultural industry shows that nearly two thirds of jobs last between one and three months and over 80% less than a year.
The study by Jason Timmins from the Department of Labour looked at the seasonal variation in employment between 1999 - 2005 across 10 horticultural industries.
He used tax data supplied by Inland Revenue to Statistics New Zealand.
The study identified the apple, pear, berryfruit and citrus industries as having the largest swings in monthly short term employment.
It also found many seasonal workers are aged 65 and over, and there's a high proportion who move between employment in the horticulture industry and receiving government income support.
About a third of the people who held jobs outside horticulture, worked in the agriculture industry.