While the South Island screams for more citrus, one Taipā resident has concerns a local orchard is allegedly letting its mandarins go to waste.
Renee Dumas has lived in the area for about eight years and passes the orchard off State Highway 10 each day on her commute to work.
She said she had always kept an eye on the citrus orchard and had observed the yearly harvest of mandarins and oranges.
This year, however, she had noticed what she thought were mandarins still hanging on the trees, despite being outside their harvesting time.
"In previous years they usually harvest the mandarins around mid-May," Dumas said.
"I've got a mandarin tree too, and I've already harvested mine, so was wondering what was going on with this fruit.
"Mandarins are hard to get now as they're out of season and I know of some locals who have harvested mandarins from the orchard in late May because the trees were still full of fruit."
Dumas said given the terrible food insecurity around the country, she was concerned if there was fruit being left to rot.
"So much food is produced in New Zealand, yet we have people starving, it makes me so mad, especially when food is wasted."
According to Citrus NZ, mandarins are harvested in Northland first, starting in April and peaking in May, followed by Gisborne, which usually peaks at the end of June.
Mandarins are also mostly consumed in New Zealand, with this year's Satsuma mandarin harvest totalling about 7700 tonnes and the Northland portion producing about 25 per cent of that total.
T&G Fresh supplies supermarket chains and wholesale suppliers across the country and leases the 31ha block at Taipa.
The orchard grows mandarins, navel oranges and limes.
Joe Lenaghan, T&G Fresh citrus manager, said residents had nothing to be concerned about and there was no risk of the fruit going to waste.
"We started harvesting our Satsuma mandarins in early April and this season we finished in late May, so there was no delay in harvesting our orchard crop in Taipa," Lenaghan said.
"Residents could be perhaps looking at navel orange trees, which are currently being harvested.
"It's an 'on' year for navel oranges so there is more fruit, but nothing to be concerned about as the oranges are being harvested at the moment."
Lenaghan said the company harvested about 1500 tonnes of mandarins annually across its Northland orchards.
The Taipā orchard delivered about 550 tonnes and was sent to the Northland, Auckland and Gisborne regions.
He said T&G Fresh's Satsuma mandarins were distributed nationwide and it also exported a small proportion (5 per cent) of the crop to Japan.
"We expect to sell approximately 50 million Satsuma mandarins, on behalf of our grower partners," Lenaghan said.
"This year it's been what we call an 'on' year – citrus trees are naturally biannual – so every second year there is naturally a better-sized crop.
"This year has been a successful season for mandarins, with strong demand, and rainfall in summer, creating favourable citrus growing conditions."
Northland's abundance of citrus comes in stark contrast to the citrus shortage in Te Waipounamu (the South Island).
According to the Mangonui and Kaitaia Lions clubs, areas south of Nelson were in dire need of citrus fruit and were proving unaffordable.
Lions club volunteers are now organising the local abundance of citrus and sending it down the line with Mainfreight (Kaitaia).
The logistics and transport company has donated 6 tonnes of free freight to take the fruit to any of its South Island depots, and local Lions club volunteers then distribute to those most in need.