The Zespri Board last night approved plans for a new office building on its current site in Mount Maunganui.
Zespri Chief Financial Officer Dave Hazlehurst explains that Zespri’s new building will provide a home for its brand and a future-proof building to support possible future growth in the industry.
“Zespri has well and truly outgrown our existing building as the organisation has grown to support our industry’s rapid progress. With global sales expected to more than double to $4.5 billion by 2025, the new building will provide the facilities we need to deliver this growth for the kiwifruit industry. We’re excited to show our community and growers something we can all be proud of.
“This development will connect us with both our local community and the global markets, and includes redeveloping the public park so the community can continue to enjoy this green space in the heart of the Mount. Zespri’s investment in the new building shows our long-term commitment to the Bay of Plenty which produces around 80 percent of our premium Zespri Kiwifruit,” says Mr Hazlehurst.
The new building will be a hub for the kiwifruit industry with facilities to host growers and office space for other kiwifruit organisations. It will also provide a venue to host international trade, government and media delegations on behalf of the industry.
Zespri is investing over $40 million for the design, build, fit out, furnishing and landscaping of the new 4,800m2 landmark office complex. The three-story complex will stand in a park-like setting and includes onsite parking.
“We’ve incorporated some features to make the building more efficient and sustainable, like a smart façade, efficient heating and air conditioning services, and water recycling. We’ve also developed flexible working arrangements to allow staff to work in different workspaces when doing different work – this increases productivity and reduces the physical footprint of the building,” says Mr Hazlehurst.
The architects for the project are Warren & Mahoney and Beca has been appointed as the project manager. The construction contract will open for tender shortly.
Zespri bought the land on its site at 400 Maunganui Road from Tauranga City Council in December last year and has been operating from the site since 1996. Work will start on the site in the first quarter of next year, with the building set for completion by the end of 2018. The old brick Zespri building, constructed in the 1970s, will eventually be demolished and replaced with parkland.
Organic producers and exporters in New Zealand and China are set to benefit under a new bilateral agreement.
The Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Certified Organic Products was signed by the two countries in China late last month.
New Zealand exports of organic produce to China are currently valued at NZ$27m per annum, with this figure tipped to rise thanks to a reduction in compliance costs under the agreement.
“Our organic sectors should experience growth, not only with increased export and import opportunities but also a wider range of organic ingredients available for processed foods that would be available for sale domestically and for export," said Peter Thomson, director of plants food and environment at New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
Thomson said the arrangement would also provide greater assurance for consumers in New Zealand.
"New Zealand consumers can have increased confidence in organic food imported from China because MPI has assessed the Chinese system and found it to be robust,” Thomson explained.
"This new arrangement and the assessment required to conclude it, provides MPI with knowledge and confidence in the supply of organic produce from China.”