HortNZ 'pleased' with referendum votes to date
The fate of New Zealand's peak horticultural body is in the hands of growers who have until 5pm on Sep.28 to cast their votes for its levy referendum.
Horticulture New Zealand has sent voting papers to 6,000 commercial fruit and vegetable growers, proposing a grower levy of 15 cents for every NZ$100 in fruit and vegetable sales.
A HortNZ release emphasized this was the same as the maximium levy rate in the existing order, which is due to expire in June, 2013.
The body said it would cease to exist without this funding, as it could not rely on the Fruitgrowers Charitable Trust that was topping up the levy when the last referendum was made in 2005.
"We are pleased with the way voting has progressed so far," said HortNZ president Andrew Fenton says.
"We just need every grower to show their support for HortNZ. Their voices will not be heard if we do not have HortNZ."