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Home Page / 30 Years of NZKGI Gala Dinner

30 Years of NZKGI Gala Dinner

DATE: Tuesday, 22 October 2024
TIME: 5:30pm-10:00pm
LOCATION: Lion Foundation Centre, Bay Park.
TICKETS: Available for purchase soon


It has been 120 years since school teacher Isobel Fraser of Whanganui brought kiwifruit seeds to New Zealand after probably having being given them by English botanist Ernest Wilson during her visit to China in 1904. She in turn gave the seeds to a friend, who passed them to his brother Alexander Allison who propagated the seeds and shared his plants with other nurserymen, including Hayward Wright. Since these seeds were laid, the industry has grown rapidly, but not without its challenges, which led to the Single Desk regulations through amendment 5 of the Kiwifruit Marketing Regulations 1977, coming into force on 6 March 1989, now 35 years ago. The Single Desk was one of the most important steps growers have made and has become a cornerstone of our industry, allowing growers to work together for New Zealand’s success.

Five years after the establishment of the Single Desk, NZKGI came to fruition, with Hendrik Pieters as president and Tony de Farias as vice-president, after Agriculture Minister Falloon called for an industry review. NZKGI’s first undertaking was to pick up the government review of the industry and discussion on the future role and operations for the New Zealand Kiwifruit Marketing Board (NZKMB). A report was released by Auckland University with recommended reforms for the NZKMB, including retaining the single-desk, but also opening up collaborative marketing and the global sourcing of kiwifruit for year-round supply.

A further five years later led to the conversion of the NZKMB to a public company, ZESPRI Group Ltd which allowed for a single desk while also embracing the cooperative nature of the industry, enabling growers to be shareholders – and owners with control of the company.

So 2024 marks significant milestones for our industry as we reach 120 years since Isobel Fraser procured the kiwifruit seeds, 35 years of the single desk, 30 years of NZKGI and 25 years of Zespri.