With many Northlanders wondering what to do with all that excess winter citrus fruit, the people of Canterbury are hoping it will be donated to them.

The Citrus for Christchurch campaign, which last year sent more than four tonnes of citrus to Canterbury, will soon be collecting any excess fruit to send to the South Island.

Organised by Lions Clubs of Whangarei, the citrus drive - now in its third year - will collect spare citrus, including lemons, limes, oranges, mandarins and grapefruit, at Forum North on July 30 from 8am-3pm.

Organiser Terry Ward said Whangarei firm Rent a Cheepy had donated trucks to help transport the fruit and Mainfreight would get the citrus to Canterbury free of charge - all he needed now was for the public to bring their fruit forward.


"Last year we got 230 banana boxes, or about four tonnes, of fruit to send down there. It was an amazing response and we hope to get a similar amount this year," Mr Ward said.

He said the fruit was gratefully received by the Canterbury community. The citrus will be distributed through foodtogether, a collective of groups and organisations who weekly work to supply fresh affordable produce to about 3000 families. Most of the work is done by about 300 volunteers.

Mr Ward said citrus does not grow well in Canterbury and it was nice to know that unwanted fruit from the north would benefit Canterbury.

"It's been a really good citrus season so there will be lots of spare fruit out there and we'd love to get any unwanted citrus to send south. And they just really appreciate it so much down there."

He said banana boxes will be collected from Pak'nSave and Regent New World ready for packing.

"People may like to pick up their own banana box from their local store. If a box cannot be filled from one household, or your friends and neighbours, people are asked to use plastic bags to deliver the fruit to us at Forum North.

"Keeping the different fruits separate would also be very helpful," Mr Ward said.

Christine Stephenson, who moved to Whangarei in 2012 from Christchurch, organised the first Citrus for Christchurch campaign in 2014.

- People can email Mr Ward at ward41@xtra.co.nz with offers.