A Hawkes Bay packhouse has been fined $40,000 after it was found to have exported non-compliant apples to Taiwan.

Following a Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) investigation, Matipou Orchard Limited was found to have deliberately provided MPI with fraudulent export documentation.

Documents stated apples which were bound for Taiwan were sourced from orchards that were part of an official assurance programme.

The company made approximately $21,000 from packing the non-compliant apples.


Matipou Orchard Limited had earlier plead guilty to 10 charges of using a document with the intent to obtain a pecuniary advantage.

In the Hawkes Bay District Court today, the company was found guilty of providing fraudulent documentation and were fined $40,000.

MPI Central Investigations Manager Steve Ham said a robust assurance and certification scheme was vital to ensure New Zealand's international obligations were met and plant exports continued to be accepted in premium markets.

"MPI phytosanitary certification provides an official New Zealand Government assurance that export products have been produced to meet requirements specified by the importing country's government, to ensure plant pests and diseases are not introduced."

The company was no longer approved by MPI to hold a packhouse registration for exporting apples to Taiwan, he said.