Hanzon in the news

2008 Farmers Guardian Article
2009 Rural contractor & large scale farmer


Richard’s contracting idea snowballs into a business

Seen in: Farmers Guardian Article 4th July 2008

Mark Cottey. 22
Mark Cottey. 22
From Yarcombe, Devon, Working for a contractor

David Pidsley. 22 from Dunkeswell, Devon. Runs a contracting business
David Pidsley. 22 From Dunkeswell, Devon. Runs a contracting business
Sid Tucker. 24

Sid Tucker. 24
From Luppit, Devon. Works on the family farm

Work, play and travel are the three aims of Richard Houston’s seasonal farm work agency, which aims to offer young UK farmworkers experience on farms throughout New Zealand. Danusia Osiowy reports.

After spending four years working for a number of farm contractors in the UK, United States and Australia, 25-year-old Richard Houston launched Hanzon Jobs in 2005 – matching young farmworkers with contractors in New Zealand who require help through the summer. “I have worked all over England and met people that were keen to combine farm work with travelling,” says Richard, whose parents run a dairy farm in New Zealand milking 800 cows. “I had contacts in New Zealand and my idea to set up a business incorporating the two just snowballed from there.”

With significant experience driving tractors and working harvesters and foragers, Richard applied for a job in the UK to drive a silage chopper on a farm in Devon four years ago before coming up with the idea for Hanzon Jobs. He now spends five months each year in Devon working through the British summer before returning home in September to pursue his other agricultural contracting business and helping the new intake of young farmers from the UK settle into their work placements.

While past workers have been primarily based in Devon, he hopes the scheme will appear to young farmworkers nationwide. Last year, he recruited 12 people to complete a full work placement with some of the 15 contractors he has secured back home...

CASE STUDY: Around 40 young farmworkers have completed placements in New Zealand and combined the experience with an opportunity to travel. We catch up with three who gave the scheme a go.

Read the Farmers Guardian article JULY 4th 2008...
"Just go out there expecting one big adventure, back yourself and, most of all, just enjoy it - DAVID"
Don’t even think twice. I will be heading back next summer, as they want me back to drive their new Krone Big M II - MARK

Read the Farmers Guardian article JULY 4th 2008...


Hanzon solution to seasonal labour shortages

Seen in: Rural contractor & large scale farmer - April/May 2009 Issue 107

Every contractor needs seasonal staff. You need their undivided attention for a few months…and then what do you do with them? each year it’s an issue to lure back good staff from wherever they have amused themselves over winter.

Southland Contractor Brian Hughes’ imported labour force. from left: Adam Pike, Donald Tolley, and James Salter.

Southland Contractor Brian Hughes’ imported labour force. from left: Adam Pike, James Salter & Donald Tolley.

Hanzon Jobs has the solution – it sources good staff from the UK. Richard Houston runs Hanzon jobs from his base in South Canterbury. Contractors register on the Hanzon website and Richard can then discuss staffing options. Richard says there are a number of advantages in hiring overseas staff. One is that new machines are often released in Europe before they are here, and often he can find UK staff who are already familiar with the latest models. “As soon as the new piece of gear rolls into the paddock, they will get the most out of it from day one. The driver knows how to drive it, maintain it, and how to talk about breakdowns to the dealers’ mechanic. This allows the boss to work on growing the business instead of spending time helping an unfamiliar driver.”

Seen in: Rural contractor & large scale farmer - April/May 2009 Issue 107

Brian Hughes is a farmer and contractor based in Waimatua, Invercargill. He does silage, baleage, direct drilling and full cultivation. He has six permanent staff but needs 15 during the season. He employed four Englishmen this season. Three were through Hanzon Jobs and the other arrived independently. They arrived in October and left at the end of March.

“They’ve been brilliant. I’ve been 100 percent happy with them. They all had experience in machinery and just hopped straight into it; no training was needed. They all knew what they were doing...” - Brian Hughes

Read the Rural contractor & large scale farmer article- April/May 2009