A new report from the University of Waikato shows the new varieties breeding programme for kiwifruit, supported by the New Zealand Government for many years, has been a major contributor to the New Zealand economy.
It shows kiwifruit's contribution to New Zealand GDP is set to increase from $2.6 billion in 2015/16 to $6.14 billion in 2030, with an additional 29,000 New Zealand jobs, driven by the new cultivar Zespri SunGold.
Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit (also known as Gold3) came out of this breeding programme and the report finds that without it, the New Zealand industry would be less than half the size of these 2030 projections.
The study says that an additional 29,000 fulltime jobs will be created by the growth in exports. Te Puke stands to benefit directly from this.
Zespri general manager innovation Carol Ward says Zespri commissioned the report to better understand the impact the kiwifruit industry has in the regions, for Maori and for NZ as a whole, as well the growth ahead.
"The New Zealand kiwifruit industry has a goal of increasing kiwifruit consumption around the world and is on track to more than double global sales to $4.5 billion by 2025, driven by this great new kiwifruit variety, Zespri SunGold," Ms Ward says.
Rotorua MP and Trade Minister Todd McClay says kiwifruit is expected to be the country's largest horticultural export by 2030 and he believes this is a direct result of the successful Single Desk marketing arrangement.
"This will come as welcome news to the people of Te Puke and the wider Bay of Plenty who are part of the huge kiwifruit success story," Mr McClay says.
"The study says that an additional 29,000 fulltime jobs will be created by the growth in exports. Te Puke stands to benefit directly from this."
"Trade equals jobs and this study is a fantastic example of that in real terms.
"It underlines just how important our ability to trade freely with overseas markets is for our regional economies and Te Puke's prosperity."
Mr McClay says the study, which looks at the economic contribution of kiwifruit, concludes that export quantities will also more than double by 2030 to 253 million trays and that this will add an extra $3.5 billion to the country's GDP each year.
"This is great news for the wider Te Puke area and will be welcomed by all those involved in the Bay's kiwifruit production," Mr McClay says. "The impressive way the industry responded to PSA shows that the kiwifruit industry is innovative, resilient and here to stay."