Spring has sprung in Northland and to mark the occasion, Advocate photographer Tania Whyte went behind the scenes at Pioneer Orchids New Zealand.
Owners Kane and Gail Matthews say the name came about because they were genuine pioneers endeavouring to commercially grow quality cymbidium orchids in New Zealand.
They chose Northland because it offered warm, humid summers and frosty, cool winters in the valley at Poroti near Maungatapere.
The Matthewses arrived in New Zealand 23 years ago from their farm in Zimbabwe — the move was due to political unrest.
Despite their farming background and management experience giving them a definite advantage, the couple say they never stop learning while growing their intriguing flower.
Twenty years later, the Matthewses have built up a balance of eight unusual flower colours. Their success in refining the growing process has had the business bloom in local and international markets.