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Home Page / July 2, 2021

NZKGI’s value to Growers

NZKGI Creating Value for Growers

NZKGI has grown substantially in recent years which has resulted in an increased output in the organizations’ value for growers. This page highlights some of the key achievements coming out of NZKGI’s six portfolios which provides insights into how NZKGI is advocating on behalf of Growers.


Labour & Education


In response to the seasonal labour shortage experienced in 2018, NZKGI developed a Labour Attraction Strategy for the 2019 harvest. The strategy focused on initiatives to provide information on, and attract, New Zealanders and Working Holiday Visa holders to the industry, as well as correcting misconceptions. In 2021 our labour attraction campaign gained 10 million impressions across all communication mediums resulting in 11,490 people visiting the NZKGI seasonal jobs page for recruitment information.

The strategy was refined and extended for 2020, as well as the 2021 harvest which required 23,000 seasonal workers to pick and pack. NZKGI continues to work with industry stakeholders to find ways to negotiate barriers that may be preventing people from becoming employed in the kiwifruit industry.

To read more about the value created by this portfolio, click here.



In 2020/2021, with funding from the Ministry of Primary Industries, NZKGI offered Winter Pruning courses for people new to the industry. That programme remains a great illustration of an industry-led and government-supported initiative that helps the kiwifruit industry with skilled labour. The course material is now available on the NZKGI website for anyone looking to upskill their workforce.

In 2015, NZKGI’s Kiwifruit Book was launched to provide teachers of Horticulture (and now Agribusiness) with a resource that covers the ins and outs of the kiwifruit industry. The publication is updated each year with the latest statistics, as well as commentary on hot topics, and new information about on-orchard management and post-harvest practices. Each year copies are distributed to schools around New Zealand free of charge, and there is a digital version on the NZKGI website. This resource has also proved popular for upskilling new growers and those new to the wider industry.

To read more about the value created by this portfolio, click here.

Environmental and Policy

In 2019, NZKGI took the lead on creating an industry-wide Water Strategy which is a collaboration between Growers, Zespri, Māori Kiwifruit Growers Inc and Horticulture NZ. The aim of the strategy is to collectively protect and enhance water resources for our people, our environment, our communities while enabling kiwifruit industry growth.

Local and central government policy consultations continue to be released at a rapid pace and NZKGI continues to advocate on policy that implicates Growers. Since 2019, NZKGI has made over 50 submissions.

Regional Grower advocacy has also seen NZKGI become more involved in issues like rural rate increases in areas such as Opotiki and Gisborne with NZKGI taking legal proceedings against Gisborne District Council’s decision to include the licence in rating valuations for gold kiwifruit orchards. In a separate court case, NZKGI was successful in removing barriers to seasonal accommodation in legal proceedings against Western Bay of Plenty District Council in the District Court in Tauranga.

To read more about the value created by this portfolio, click here.


Performance & Supply

The Performance & Supply portfolio continues to monitor Zespri and industry performance through end to end supply solutions, ensuring industry practices are maintained in the best interests of all Kiwifruit Growers.

The performance and supply work undertaken in 2020/21 can be broken into two key components:

  1. Monitoring activities

NZKGI monitors Zespri and industry performance to ensure it operates in the best interests of all the kiwifruit Growers and that they are always top of mind in the industry decision making.

  1. Industry activities

NZKGI works with all players to understand the operational and cultural dynamics to help establish and maintain important industry relationships thereby positioning NZKGI as a credible voice for effective representation of Growers.

To read more about the value created by this portfolio, click here.



NZKGI acts on, executes and delivers communications that align with the strategies of all its portfolios. Two examples are the Weekly Update newsletter circulated to over 3,000 growers containing important information for growers, as well as media relations where NZKGI features in over 100 annually. Recently, NZKGI was recognised for its work in communicating to Growers and the public with two awards:

  • The Gold Award for Special Project or Short-Term Campaign from Public Relations Institute of New Zealand for communications in NZKGI’s Labour Attraction Campaign in 2020.
  • NZKGI was announced the winner of the Primary Sector Communications Award at the 2020 Ravensdown Agricultural Communicator of the Year Awards for industry communication throughout COVID-19 lockdowns in order to avoid a labour crisis and ensure all kiwifruit was picked and packed safely.

To read more about the value created by this portfolio, click here.


Industry Stability

NZKGI continues to build relationships with Growers in other kiwifruit producing countries by attending the International Kiwifruit Organisation (IKO). The most recent IKO meeting in 2020 was a virtual event and an opportunity to meet representatives from the Northern Hemisphere to discuss global supply, fruit production, and Growers response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as demonstrating NZKGI’s commitment to the SPE.

NZKGI’s relationships continue to strengthen with Central Government Ministers and Officials who have a direct impact on the industry. Discussions on industry issues affecting Growers continue with key ministers, such as Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Hon Grant Robertson.

To read more about the value created by this portfolio, click here.


Organisational Management

There have been significant NZKGI resource additions to enhance NZKGI’s ability to deliver the best outcomes for the industry in recent years.

In 2016, portfolio leaders, subcommittees and executive committee members were assigned to help address the objectives in the Strategic Plan.

Several roles have also been created since 2016 to ensure NZKGI drives change and awareness. This includes a Communications Manager, Performance & Supply Manager, Labour Coordinator, Senior Policy Analyst, and Education Coordinator, two of which receive funding from the Government.

To read more about the value created by this portfolio, click here.