Zespri has officially opened its new Mount Maunganui head office complex as part of the kiwifruit industry's marquee Momentum 2020 conference.
The head office was officially opened by Minister of Agriculture Damien O'Connor, with four previous Zespri Chairmen - Craig Greenlees, Peter McBride, John Palmer and Doug Voss – cutting a commemorative ribbon in front of about 500 growers, Zespri customers, representatives from NZKGI, KVH and the post-harvest sector.
Phase one of the new building complex was completed in April 2019.
Phase two involved the completion of a new meeting wing featuring an additional 486m2 space, five meeting rooms and a demonstration kitchen.
Zespri worked with a range of construction partners on the building project, including Beca, Hawkins, Rider Levett Bucknall and Warren and Mahoney.
Zespri chairman Bruce Cameron said the completion of the complex represented a "significant milestone" for the kiwifruit industry.
"We're very proud of our story and the contributions our industry has been able to make to growers and our local communities.
"This building was always designed to be a hub for the industry and to celebrate its completion with so many of our industry stalwarts and customers during Momentum 2020 is a fitting way for us to start what we hope will be another successful year for our industry," Cameron said.
"With the building's completion and our recent brand refresh, Zespri now has an excellent platform for its next phase of growth which we hope will enable us to create continued strong returns for our growers and help people, communities and the environment around the world thrive through the goodness of kiwifruit."
Cameron said the 5264sq m complex included a meeting wing demonstration kitchen which was designed to enable the industry to host tour groups and provide a multi-functional space for significant events.
"Last year alone we hosted nearly 800 visitors and the new meeting wing provides not only a stunning space to host them, but also educate them about our industry's history.
"The meeting rooms all carry names of significance to our industry, recognising people like Alexander Allison, Isabel Fraser or Hayward Wright, and important locations around the world."
There is also a redeveloped green space which will provide a fantastic spot for both the Zespri team and the wider public to enjoy, he said.
Cameron said the building project was the result of a lot of hard work from a lot of people which was reflective of the collaborative nature of our industry.
"We'd like to thank our Mount Maunganui neighbours for their co-operation.
"We hope that being able to enjoy a fantastic open green space in the heart of Mount Maunganui might encourage some of the next generations to think about a future career in our industry."
Cameron said reflecting the commitments announced during Momentum 2020, the building also featured a number of sustainable design features.
"Sustainability is a major priority for us, and we're proud that our Momentum conference is carbon-positive.
"Embracing sustainable design principles was certainly a focus for us in this build, so the complex features solar roof panels, energy-efficient sensor lighting, grey water storage, electric vehicle charging stations, ability to charge 16 electric bikes and improved recycling options.
"Since our team moved into the new building in April 2019, we've already seen some efficiencies and we're looking forward to that continuing with the new wing now in action," he said.