Northland's $76 million kiwifruit industry is steadily expanding with new orchards being developed in Kerikeri and Whangārei.
Kerikeri's newly announced $38 million Wiroa Rd kiwifruit orchard development is one of the biggest current enterprises of its type in New Zealand and heads the regional expansion.
Whangārei district growers are also expanding with new orchard area being added to existing operations in areas such as Glenbervie and Whatitiri.
"We expect growth in the region to continue," Nikki Johnson, New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers chief executive, says.
Latest industry figures show Northland's 2019 kiwifruit harvest produced 5.1 million trays.
The area of kiwifruit in Northland is steadily increasing — with 473ha, up from 463ha at the end of the 2018/19 season just five months ago and 467ha in 2017/18.
Northland kiwifruit is exported from Marsden Point and Tauranga. Europe and China are Northland's biggest export markets, taking about 70 per cent of the crop, while Japan takes about 25 per cent. It's also sent to Hong Kong, the United States and Taiwan.
Gold kiwifruit now makes up almost 90 per cent of the region's kiwifruit production. The 2019 Northland kiwifruit harvest produced 4,420,781 trays of gold and 704,310 trays of green kiwifruit.
Zespri figures (to the March 31 end of the 2018/2019 season) show 356ha of gold and 107ha of green kiwifruit are grown in Northland.
Whatitiri kiwifruit grower Graeme Pickford said things were going well in the industry.
Northland kiwifruit orchard winter pruning has been almost completed, with last season's canes removed and new canes tied down in readiness to produce the coming season's crop.
Spring bud burst of flowers that will become the 2020 harvest is expected on his orchard about September 10.
May's warmer than average temperatures had not been so good for winter chilling — important for bud burst start — but cooler June and July had counteracted that.
Pickford is among Northland kiwifruit growers expanding his orchard, pulling out tamarillos on his property to plant new kiwifruit root stock in about three weeks.
Kiwifruit expansion is building across New Zealand - availability of land, water, labour and capital investment in post-harvest infrastructure, the four key factors influencing the rate of growth.
Lastest 2018/19 figures show almost 80 per cent of Northland kiwifruit orchard is now gold kiwifruit — 356ha compared with 107ha in green kiwifruit.
That golden kiwifruit dominance has continued to increase.
New Zealand's kiwifruit industry is forecast to expand significantly to produce 190 million trays by 2027.