Story: Hops, tobacco and hemp

Picking tobacco

Picking tobacco

A woman hand-picks tobacco leaves in Nelson, probably in the 1950s. When leaves began turning yellow, they were ready for harvesting. Hand-picking, grading, and preparing the leaves for curing in the kiln were all labour-intensive jobs, and harvest time saw an influx of seasonal workers into the Motueka area. When harvesting and tying machines were introduced in the early 1960s, the size of seasonal gangs declined.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, National Publicity Studios Collection
Reference: 1/2-027361; F/A 1060

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jim McAloon, 'Hops, tobacco and hemp - Tobacco', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 7 July 2022)

Story by Jim McAloon, published 24 Nov 2008