Rob Thode is holding on to his orchard as a legacy for his son.
The Pāpāmoa kiwifruit grower says he is still recovering from the devastation of Psa. It had a significant toll on his family and almost ruined him financially.
Sitting on a chair in his home, bare feet on plush carpet Thode is full of conflicting emotion. He is disillusioned, optimistic and mostly he is angry at the misfortune that befell growers.
He lays the Psa biosecurity disaster at the Government's door and is part of a $450 million Kiwifruit Claim before the Court of Appeal.
You can see fully laden kiwifruit vines shimmering under the warmth of the autumn sun. Harvest is not far off. Thode jokes about how everything revolves around that moment.
Growers anxiously wait for the pickers to come and ease them from their mental anguish as they wait for the money to roll in.
Thode's anguish was through the roof in 2010. His bank balance went through the floor.
Psa had arrived in his second orchard at Te Matai Rd in Te Puke. The future looked bleak as orchard after orchard in the area succumbed to the disease.
''Psa was rife, it just went berserk. It was nuts.
''About six hectares of my Hort 16A orchards died along with half of my income. I went from having 75 per cent equity to zero overnight.''
He dreaded going into the orchard.
''It was like walking in quicksand.''
The sight of his vines brought him to despair.
''It was terrible, seeing the vines bleed red which was what they did, it was totally devastating. It's your land; it's your heart and what you pour everything into.''
Others were not so lucky.
Thode said some of his friends ''lost everything'' and he recalls one piece of advice from a ministry official "to just walk off your land".
''It was just appalling and I refused to do that.''
But he stayed and entered ''the biggest fight of my life''.
He had to sell his 11.25ha orchard in Te Matai Rd in Te Puke after the collapse and when it was redeveloped.
He still has about 4.5ha of kiwifruit in Papamoa and said in hindsight he wished he had cut his Te Matai Rd vines out in Te Puke straight away.
''I likened it to foot-and-mouth or the influenza breakout in 1918.
''It was discovered on my orchards in November 2010, and I didn't cut it out until June 2011, and it had magnified 100 per cent by then.''
Thode said at the time he did not understand Psa and was encouraged to keep his gold crop going until the harvest in April.
He said that decision basically ''killed all my vines and rootstock''.
Today Thode says he is happy to be producing top quality fruit, but he is still burdened with debt.
And every season he battles against Psa with his Green Hayward crop.
''If you are not careful with Psa you can lose your entire Hayward crop because it can kill all your flowers but not your vines.
''So every year we are fighting like crazy to stop Psa killing all the flowers.''
There was a bright side.
''I love my land and I like to be able to be innovative. I have a 9-year-old son so it's a generational thing and I want to pass it on to him.''
■ Kiwifruit Claim
The claim by kiwifruit growers against the Government for the Psa outbreak is still before the Court of Appeal. In June last year, the High Court partially upheld a claim brought by Strathboss Kiwifruit Ltd, representing a class of 212 kiwifruit orchardists, and Te Puke-based post-harvest operator Seeka, against the Ministry for Primary Industries for failing to prevent the devastating disease from entering the country in 2010.
Tomorrow we look into concerns surrounding the kiwifruit labour shortage.