Requirements for growers who are lessees
Recently a letter was sent by Zespri to all growers who have previously registered that they have a lease in place with respect to their orchard. The letter impacts approx. 1000 growers who have lease arrangements, of which a large proportion (over 50%) are with packhouses. The letter requests three items:
- The completion of a declaration form for each KPIN under a lease.
- The signatures of an authorised representative of the lessee, as well as (a) your solicitor or (b) an authorised representative of the landlord.
- A copy of the lease agreement.
This is an important letter and growers are required to complete the required documentation no later than 31 October 2017.
If you did not receive a letter and you have a lease in place, please call the Zespri Grower Contact Centre on 0800 155 355 or email here
Why is this important?
The Chairman’s address at this year’s Zespri Annual General Meeting advised that the industry is currently working through some significant changes to the voting and ownership rights that attach to Zespri shares. Zespri’s constitution will be amended in order to strengthen grower ownership and control of Zespri and to improve alignment between production and shareholding over the long-term. For the purposes of voting on these changes and understanding resulting share entitlements, Zespri need to ascertain who “producers” are (i.e. shares can only be transferred to an individual or entity that owns or leases a New Zealand kiwifruit orchard (i.e. produces kiwifruit)).
What if I’m not an existing Zespri shareholder?
Although you may not be a current Zespri shareholder, Zespri still need to establish your entitlement for share ownership under the amended constitution should you decide to purchase Zespri shares.
What if I don’t have a lease agreement in place?
If a legal lease agreement is not in place, a one page document with the following information should be drafted to formalise the lease arrangement:
- Landowner name
- Lessee name
- Property address
- Start / end date
- Lease price (this can be a $ value or the words “price to be agreed upon by the parties annually from time to time”)
- Signature of authorised signatory of the landowner
- Signature of authorised signatory of the lessee
- Signature of the lessee’s solicitor
The authorised signatory of the landowner could be the same as the authorised signatory of the lessee.
What happens if I don’t provide this information?
Failure to provide this information to Zespri may impact on your ability to vote at the Special General Meeting (14 March, 2018) and on your resulting share entitlements (e.g. you may be inadvertently classified as a dry shareholder).
Where can I find the Zespri Chairman’s address about the constitution changes?
The Chairman’s address to growers and shareholders is on Zespri’s Canopy here
Who do I contact if I have any questions?
If you have any questions, please call the Zespri Grower Contact Centre on 0800 155 355 or email here