FHiNZ began in 1994, with the Grady family and a neighbour deciding to offer free farmstays on their farms to visitors who wanted to help in exchange for meals, beds and so on. The idea was to treat visitors like one of the family so that they could experience the real Kiwi farming way of life and join in both the highs and lows of living on a farm. Today there are over 150 farms, most of whom continue to offer the free farmstays. Farmstays can last from three days to several months. FHiNZ charges NZ$25 for their membership booklet containing all the addresses. This list is updated regularly and valid for 6 months. No experience is necessary, although the ability to communicate in English effectively is important. Approximately four to six hours of work a day is requested by the farm.