Christchurch and Dunedin will be getting a healthy boost of Vitamin C thanks to generous Northlanders who donated boxes of fruit for the Citrus for the South campaign today.

Mandarins, limes, lemons, grapefruit and more zesty fruits will soon be on the road to the southern cities, where citrus is not grown, after a collection day organised and run by Whangārei's Lions Clubs.

The produce will be transported to the South Island free of charge by Mainfreight tomorrow.

A total of 225 banana boxes crammed full of fruit were donated. That included 98 boxes of lemons, 90 boxes of grapefruit and oranges filling another 30.


Members from the Whangārei, Whangārei Hatea, Hikurangi, Onerahi and Kamo Lions clubs were on hand wipe the fruit and pack it during the collection at the southern end of the ASB Stadium car park in Whangārei between 8.30am and 2pm.

Terry Ward, organiser from Whangārei Lions Club, said the amount of fruit was down slightly on last year's total but it was still a significant amount that would help out both cities.

"They don't grow citrus down there, and they really appreciate the fruit we send down. It really makes a difference to so many families down there," he said.

He said keeping the different fruits separate would help with the packing, with the fruit being distributed to more than 2300 families in the two southern cities.

Food Together, a charity that distributes the fruit to those in need in Christchurch, said it was distributed to about 1500 families and thanked Northlanders for their generosity.

KiwiHarvest in Dunedin also expressed its gratitude to Northlanders for the citrus fruit.