NZ: "Isolated cases of flooding" on South Island kiwifruit orchards, says Zespri

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Ex-cyclone Gita has caused some isolated cases of flooding on kiwifruit orchards in New Zealand, but exporter Zespri is still expecting year-on-year volume increases for both green and SunGold.

The storm hit the country on Tuesday, causing flooding, damaging roads and isolating thousands of people in the country's popular tourist destination Golden Bay.

A state of emergency was announced in Nelson Tasman, Selywn and Westland on the South Island and New Plymouth on the North Island.

Despite the severity of the weather, overall the kiwifruit industry seems to have gotten off relatively lightly.

"We're aware of some isolated cases of orchard flooding around Riwaka in the upper South Island, with possible damage to low-hanging fruit, and a packhouse in the area has also been affected by flooding," Zespri chief grower and alliance officer Dave Courtney said in a statement.

"Zespri is working with these growers to provide support as needed."

He said that the upper South Island supplies around 4% of Zespri SunGold volume.

"With harvest set to start around the country in the next month, we're looking at an increase in total NZ volumes this season from last year's crop of around 123 million trays," he said.

"Green volumes are expected to increase after last season's dip in production due to seasonal factors and SunGold volumes will continue to grow by around 7–10 million trays a year as newly-grafted vines reach maturity each year."



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