Help Wanted: New Zealand recruiting people with “knife skills” amidst butcher shortage

New Zealand knife skills

New Zealand has more livestock than people, and not enough butchers to process them.

New Zealand is on my bucket list of countries to visit. What is not to love? The trout fishing is spectacular, the people speak English and are largely pro-American, and the scenery could not be more lovely. What New Zealand does not have is enough butchers to keep up with their burgeoning meatpacking industry. They are currently seeking people with “knife skills” who with to move to the land of the Kiwis.

From Cornwall Live:

In a country which has nine times more livestock than people, New Zealand recruitment company, Canstaff, is turning to Cornwall and England in search of skilled meat workers.

The company reveals that meat processing is New Zealand’s largest manufacturing industry with 90% of New Zealand’s sheep meat production, and 83% of beef production being exported each year.

These exports alone are said to be worth $5 billion and processing plants are “struggling to keep up with the demand”.

Matt Jones, Canstaff managing director, said: “Our clients have been attempting to source butchers, boners, meat processors and people with knife skills for some time now.

“The rapid growth in the meat processing industry has quickly surpassed the supply of potential workers and we needed to think outside the box to find a solution.”

The recruitment campaign comes complete with relocation assistance and advisers to help guide you through the immigration process.


It sounds like a much better gig than the executioner job being offered by the Saudis:


  1. Sam L. says:

    If I were young and single…and knew butchering…

  2. cmeat says:

    17hr flight from the midwest. they gave us burt munroe. better cook that mutton slo n lo.
    fortunately they also created the kiko breed of meat goat and the sable milk goat.
    many of the new zealand contributions to film are on my short list; top of the lake (series), smash palace, what we do in the shadows and whale rider. have a daughter? watch that last one, there’s maybe a little knife skills involved.

  3. Martin Buck says:

    By all means come to New Zealand if you have a marketable skill, and a desire to see the world. Kiwis are among the most traveled people in the world, and most of us have some American friends. We have had a huge influx of immigrants in the past decade or so, which corresponds to a huge rise in housing prices. The two events may or may not be related. Most of our recent arrivals are Chinese or Indian, and the face of our cities is changing. Our economy is progressing well, and new trade deals are increasing our markets. We are a major tourist destination, and the scenery is literally breathtaking. It is best to halt to take in the vistas, as driving amid the loveliness can cause crashes. The South Island in particular is spectacular. Most people live in the North Island, which has big cities at either end. Working in the rural sector is the more rewarding option. “Look at my office” is a common saying. Farmers have an enviable lifestyle. You really have to see it to believe it, and I would urge an exploratory visit to check out the possibilities.

    1. You friends with any fyfishing guides? 🙂

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Help Wanted: New Zealand recruiting people with “knife skills” amidst butcher shortage

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