Please find the following links to resources that have been developed by HortNZ:

HortNZ Grower meeting pres. AR-info Mar 2024

HortNZ Grower meeting pres. A & R.15 Feb 2024

HBRC presentation. HP water permits Feb 24

A&R info sheet. 15 Feb 2024. branded

Please find the following links to resources that have been developed by HortNZ:

HortNZ Grower meeting pres. A & R.15 Feb 2024


HBRC presentation. HP water permits Feb 24


A&R info sheet. 15 Feb 2024. branded

Many of you will have now received an email from HBRC outlining what they have calculated to be your Actual and Reasonable volume, which they propose would be the volume imposed on your replacement water permit.  Many of you will have got a nasty surprise when you saw these volumes.

Our advice to you is as follows:

If you do not agree with the council’s actual and reasonable volume calculation, let the council know that you do not.  The following wording could be used in your email to the council at this email address: waterpermits@hbrc.govt.nz.

The suggested wording is:

“The water volume proposed in your letter will not allow me to continue to grow. I consider the estimated Actual and Reasonable Use volume for my take to be inaccurate and by the end of April 2024 I will provide information that demonstrates that a greater volume is both appropriate and necessary in my case.”

Please contact and advise Charlotte Drury of your situation/volumes by emailing her on charlotte@viewconsult.co.nz

This will help us to know who has issues so we can ensure that you have help where needed, fully understand the scale of the issue, and will also allow the likes of HortNZ, HAG, NZAPI etc to push back on the council on your behalf.

We are planning to have a meeting/s in January to facilitate discussion from affected growers, help answer any questions, provide advice that could be useful to contest the council’s suggested volume.

If you are happy with the council’s actual and reasonable volume calculation, then let Council know that, but ask to see a full set of draft consent conditions before your permit is issued so that you can see exactly what you will get – the conditions, consent duration etc

Any queries, please get in touch with Charlotte Drury on 027 3225595 or someone from your organisation

Seasonal labour supply continues to dominate discussions amongst growers, packers and both local and national government. The message is  very clear; allow workers from Covid-free pacific nations to enter New Zealand prior to the start of next season and get the wheels in motion now to make sure our industry doesn’t face the same unnecessary losses suffered this season. Horticulture will help our national economy recover post Covid, but we need a supportive Government to facilitate this, so let’s hope that this message is well received by those in Wellington who will make the necessary changes.

On a positive note, I am proud to be a part of a local industry that has really pulled out all the stops to provide local people with every opportunity to find a job and meaningful employment. Although we haven’t been able to fill all our vacancies, some newcomers to the industry will stay and forge exciting new careers. Covid has forced us think and act locally and I applaud all growers and fruit packers who have responded to this challenge in a positive manner despite the huge challenges they have faced.

Jo and the team have been working hard on preparations for the Hawke’s Bay Young Fruit Grower of the Year Competition which is now less than two months away. If you haven’t already, book your tickets for the Awards Dinner which this year will be held at the Toitoi Arts and Events Centre. We are thrilled with both the calibre and number of entries to date and the Awards Dinner promises to be a really fun and entertaining night! Applications for contestants can be received up till the 30 April, so there is still time to get your young future leaders into the competition.

At the end of June HBFA will be moving out of the office we have occupied for many years at the PGG Wrightson’s site in Hastings.  It has been a great office but the time has come to move on and I look forward to the start of this new chapter for the Association.  We are still working on a new operating structure for the Association that will make best use of our resources and enable us to respond readily to the changing needs of members and the industry.

Best of luck to all those  growers who still have crops to be harvested and please make contact with HBFA if we can help in any way.

Richard Pentreath
HBFA President 

As we approach the mid-point of the harvest period, labour supply dominates our thoughts more than ever. Depending on the crop, variety and size of operation, the impact of the labour shortage is affecting growers in different ways, but nearly all growers are feeling the pressure. I share the sentiments expressed by Alan Pollard in his API update and hope that ministers and officials will begin work now to avoid a repeat of this seasons’ labour shortage next year.  Growers are trying to make best use of the limited labour available to optimise orchard gate returns and minimises losses. For many, this means making some tough decisions and compromising yield in order to maintain fruit quality and value.  I feel for those growers who have had to walk away from blocks with little no fruit picked at all.  Many packhouses are struggling to fill vacancies and this will also impact on grower returns if fruit cannot be packed and shipped to order.

On a brighter note, reports of fruit quality remain positive with exceptional colour on apples this season. Weather has been favourable for harvest, interrupted briefly by a welcome drop of rain late last week to keep trees and vines ticking along.

We are well into planning for the 2021 Hawke’s Bay Young Fruit Grower of the Year Competition and I am really looking forward to seeing our regions talented young horticulturists challenge both themselves and their fellow competitors to take out the award and move onto the National final. There are some exciting changes to the event this year to look forward to.

For those who are still or picking or just starting their harvest, good luck and please reach out if you need help. HBFA is here to help in any way we can.

Richard Pentreath
HBFA President 

A Pastoral Support Plus package is now available for horticulture and viticulture employers and contractors. The aim of this initiative is to encourage the performance and retention of local New Zealand seasonal workers.

Employers will reward employees as they hit milestones to achieve their full period of their employment contract:

2 weeks after starting: $250 plus KS (if applicable) and allowing for ACC, maximum $260.98
4 weeks after starting: $250 plus KS (if applicable) and allowing for ACC, maximum $260.98
6 weeks after starting: $500 plus KS (if applicable) and allowing for ACC, maximum $521.95

Employers are responsible for any holiday pay entitlements.

Applicants must be seeking work in  picking, packing, planting or maintenance horticulture and viticulture work.

MSD will confirm with NZAPI that the employee is accepted.

NZAPI will qualify the employers participation on the initiative ( employer is a NZAPI member, or Master Contractors member and Global Gap certified)

In order to qualify for Pastoral Support Plus, employers would need to produce a signed employment agreement for each worker. Each agreement would need to have a start date and an end date. Only workers who were employed after 1 February 2021 would qualify for the support package and they must be local workers who were registered with MSD in the Hawke’s Bay region.

Application Process

1.Provide the following information in a spreadsheet:

Employee applications to be sent by employers to george.rarere@applesandpears.nz AND glenn.gray005@msd.govt.nz.

2.Confirmation of employee acceptance into the programme will be sent to the employer from MSD and will include the workers client number for invoice referencing (refer to point 3 below)

3.Employers to invoice NZAPI once the payments have been made to the employee (this needs to be confirmed by email).  If an invoice is received between the 1st and 15th of a month, the invoice will be paid on the last day of the month. If the invoice is received between the 16th and last day of the month it will be paid on the 15th of the following month.

 NZAPI details for invoicing:

Name: New Zealand Apples and Pears Inc
Address: PO Box 11094, Hastings, 4156
Email: temahi@applesandpears.nz

Invoices must:

  1. List the employees MSD client number, not their name
  2. How much has been paid to each employee
  3. Be issued for the amount paid, plus GST
  4. Include the bank account of the employer.


If you have any queries, please contact either George 027 423 0499, Jill 027 316 5460 or send an email to temahi@applesandpears.nz


The adoption of good irrigation practice is something that Hawke’s Bay Regional Council actively encourages.

In recent years, the Irrigation check-up programme has been run by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to help irrigators find out how well their system stacked up. Participants found the programme beneficial, and it helped to highlight areas for irrigation system improvements, that could ultimately benefit productivity and reduce environmental impacts.

It is expected that changes in policy will soon require irrigation system performance checks.

Knowing when and how much to irrigate is very important for maintaining productivity and minimising impact on the environment. So as we come into the irrigation season make sure your irrigation system has a ‘warrant of fitness’ – if it is older than 10 years there is often a decline in performance measures – check for leaks and monitor soil moisture levels.

For more information visit Irrigation Check



We are in October already and there is a hive of activity within the industry with late tree planting, kiwifruit and summer fruit thinning and various other general maintenance work.

Training apprenticeship programs within EIT and Primary ITO are going well with record numbers of students. There is also on-job training and the up-skilling of employed workers such as hydralada, tractor and forklift training being completed within some organisations. These courses are available fees free and can be booked in to suit your companies training needs. Please contact HBFA for more information.

Scholarship applications are now available for all apprentices to apply for and we encourage all those currently in training programs to consider applying – refer to our website Scholarship Applications .

Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT)

New Zealand’s new mega-polytech has been named Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. The institute brings together New Zealand’s 16 institutes of technology and polytechnics together to operate as a single national campus network. EIT is the regional hub for Te Pūkenga.

There has been much material distributed about the new organisation and its objectives. The long-term vision for this education system is based around the following five objectives:


The Government has gone a long way towards achieving some of these objectives. During Covid, the Apprentice Boost subsidy was announced. This scheme was developed to help employers keep and take on new apprentices to the tune of $1000 per month. We have noticed an increase trainee numbers as the industry takes advantage of the incentive.

The EIT trainee model relies heavily on a balance between classroom learning and learning at work. To reduce barriers to learning, we rely on employers to release their apprentices to come to class days based at the EIT. We recognise that this may come at a cost, especially when urgent spraying is required. However, that cost should now be covered by the Apprentice Boost subsidy. Please help to reduce barriers by ensuring there is cover to release your apprentices so that they can attend class. Training our  emerging horticulturists is vitally important for our industry, especially with the current uncertainty around RSE availability.

 Year 1 trainees have a Pest and Disease class on the 16th of October. This class will help with filling out the appropriate sections of the diary. Clare is in the process of chasing these diaries for completion.

Year 2 trainees have plenty of work on their plate. The Botany assessment should be ready to hand in and the Weather assessment should be nearly completed. The weeds collection should be well under way and the Thinning assessment will be given out on the 22nd of October. There are plenty of on job attestations to be signed off.

Year 3 trainees. Very few soil assessments were handed in on time last week and there are time constraints for having results ready for graduation at the end of January. Most have the soils assessment, crop protection assessment and the fruit crop management assessment outstanding. In addition, they have a frost assessment to complete from last week. Time is running short!

For further information, please contact EIT Tutor Gordon Reid on greid@eit.ac.nz or 06 8301851.

Primary ITO

Ahuwhenua Young Māori Grower Award finalists visited Hawke’s Bay during the 23rd-25th September to learn, be inspired and see the latest innovations taking place in the horticulture sector.

The three finalists are Brandon Darny Paora Ngamoki Cross, 24, Trainee Orchard Manager Seeka; Maatutaera Tipoki Akonga, 26, Senior Leading Hand at Llewellyn Horticulture and Finnisha Nicola Letitia Tuhiwai, 25, Packhouse Manager for Maungatapere Berries.

The intensive three-day study tour was designed to give the finalists an insight into the innovation taking place within horticulture, an opportunity to be inspired by Māori leaders and learn from key people who are involved across the horticulture value chain.

The finalists were joined by Young Māori Grower Award judges, including our Māori Engagement Manager Matiu Julian. Primary ITO is a proud sponsor of the Young Māori Grower Award.

The ​Young Māori Award was set up in 2012 to recognise up and coming young Māori in the farming and horticulture sectors. It is built on the vision of the great Māori leader Sir Apirana Ngata, who sought to inspire and encourage Māori to excel in the wider agri sector. This is the first year the competition has focused on horticulture, with the winner of the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition for Horticulture and the Young Māori Grower Award to be announced at a gala dinner in Rotorua on 20 November.

Trainee News


The fruit production industry needs to take advantage of the Governments no fees and funding– this fantastic opportunity should not be missed!

For information, please contact the Regional Delivery Manager for Horticulture, Jason Smyth Jason.smyth@primaryito.ac.nz or  06 855 9004.



The arrival of spring is certainly upon us, with fruit trees in bloom all around the Hawke’s Bay!  Such a beautiful and busy time of year here in New Zealand’s fruit bowl. Just as our growers are busy minding their precious young crops, we too at the HBFA have been busily preparing for our upcoming events.

Firstly, we would like to thank all of our members who attended HBFA’s AGM last month. The event was well attended and was the first of many, which we will have at the newly renovated Toi Toi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre. We look looking forward to having our Industry Awards Night and YFOTY Awards Dinner at the Centre.

Plans and preparations for this years Fishing Competition are well and truly underway. We are excited to host another great day of fishing and only have a few weeks to go. Of course, we wouldn’t want to miss any opportunity to thank our sponsors, both old and new, for their support of the competition and incredible prize offerings! Make sure you follow our Facebook page and keep an eye out for updates, closer to the event. You will also find our list of most generous sponsors, on both our Facebook page and our website.  So, get your gear ready and make sure your calendars are marked, for the 2nd of November (or the first suitable day thereafter!).

At this time of year, we are also in the midst of our annual membership campaign.  All members new and existing, will receive a membership email in the next few days, with a link directing you to our new online membership forms.  It’s very simple to renew your membership and you will only need to do so this time!  As the industry has changed over the years, HBFA recognises the need to also adapt and provide a revised membership structure. We believe it is important for us to be here as a support for all of our individual grower members, as well as, having the ability to reach engage with our corporate growers and orchard managers within the region.

HBFA Horticulture Scholarship Applications are now open. Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers’ Charitable Trust in conjunction with New Zealand Fruitgrowers’ Charitable Trust are providing funding towards three horticulture scholarship courses:
Horticulture Level 3 – 4 Scholarships
Horticulture Diploma Scholarships
Horticulture Degree Scholarships

For more information and to complete the applications on-line visit Scholarship Applications.

For all the latest HB industry news and updates, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Apple and kiwifruit businesses in Hawke’s Bay are joining forces to support local workers looking for sustainable long-term employment.

With help from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), a collaborative partnership has been established between T&G Global (Turners & Growers) and Ngai Tukairangi Trust (NTT) to provide on-going employment during different quiet periods experienced by both horticulture employers.

MSD’s Regional Labour Market Advisor, Robyn Leake is passionate about driving local employment opportunities.

“The apple and kiwifruit sectors have seasonal labour peaks and quiet times that could complement each other. We saw an opportunity through working relationships with both sectors, to work on employment options whereby staff could easily transfer from one employer to the other,” said Leake.

MSD and T&G Global have worked closely over the last decade to provide employment opportunities for locals and more recently MSD and Ngai Tukairangi Trust have been laying the foundations in which a strong and positive partnership is developing.

“Both companies share similar values concerning the well-being and retention of workers and employers were keen to explore innovative workforce solutions. This resulted in a three-way meeting to work collaboratively to meet the needs of staff and employers,“ said Leake.

Leake said the commitment and resourcing by both employers to work together to ensure that the workers feel valued and have an understanding of a sustainable career pathway option has been impressive.

Maurice Windle, T&G’s Supply and Services Manager said he and his team are always exploring ways to get locals into skilled and sustainable work.

“If we can join forces with our friends in the kiwifruit industry, to share those skills between sectors, keep people in jobs so they can work all year-round, and provide them with a clear career pathway for the future, then that’s a great solution,” he said.

T&G Global employees recently visited one of the Ngai Tukairangi Trust kiwifruit orchards and were given an overview of what early season kiwifruit work involves.

Richard Pentreath, Hawke’s Bay Regional Manager for Ngai Tukairangi Trust said that effectively managing staff numbers to meet peak demand at key times, whilst providing continuity of work for local people is a challenge faced by all fruit growers in Hawke’s Bay.

“By helping staff to move to further opportunities as existing jobs come to an end and narrowing the gap between seasons, apple and kiwifruit growers can both benefit by retaining skilled and work-ready individuals, who in turn, benefit from a smooth transition between employers and more secure income throughout the year.”

T&G Global’s recruitment team is already getting strong interest with 45 employees who are keen to take advantage of this opportunity and gain addition skills within the horticulture industry.

John Wilton

Over the next two or three weeks bud break will occur in pipfruit.  Fungi infection at this stage will give season long control problems, so now is the time to focus on fungi disease control.

I have noted quite a lot of late flower set fruit about.  This late set fruit is often already infected with black spot.  These infections will be producing conidia spores so do not need mills periods for spore release.  Heavy dew is sufficient for infection to occur.  Broad spectrum protectant fungicide such as a late dormant copper, then dodine, dithianon, mancozeb or Polyram DF® give good protectant cover.  These are old products but have the ability to re-distribute in rain to cover recently expanded new tissue.  Once the russet sensitive period is passed, Captan can be added to this list.

Dodine and dithianon have reach back properties, but because they are contact rather than systemic fungicides, they are weak reach back tools over the bud bread period.  Where a reach back fungicide is necessary during bud break it is best to opt for a systemic fungicide.

Powdery mildew spore release occurs later than black spot because it over winters in buds.  Powdery mildew infected buds break bud later than healthy buds so powdery mildew fungicide sprays do not need to commence until tight cluster.

The first six weeks of the spraying programme are the most critical for disease control.  An extra spray during this period is worth two or more later.



Last week, the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Regional Planning Committee discussed options to address concerns around outdoor burning following increased reporting of smoke complaints in the Heretaunga Plains.

During the winter months (1 May – 31 August) and pursuant to Rules 19a and 19e of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Resource Management Plan (RRMP), the horticultural industry is permitted to burn diseased material and material left over from orchard redevelopment. This is a privilege that was hard fought for by HBFA and Horticulture NZ in 2010.

There has been active campaigning from some councillors to place a total fire ban on all properties on the Heretaunga Plans. If successful, this will require rural land-owners to find alternative disposal methods for diseased trees and/or orchard redevelopment blocks.

Five options were presented for consideration by the RPC to address outdoor burning.

Only one option allowed the burning of orchard re-development and diseased material to continue and after lengthy debate, this option was accepted. However, this will be revisited under the Regional Resource Management Plan Review scheduled to commence in 2021. The alternative options would have prohibited all outdoor burning in the shorter-term.

All growers must be aware that this is only a temporary reprieve.

As an industry we are all responsible to take the appropriate steps when it comes to burning dry orchard waste.  Although our industry does not represent all rural land-owners, collectively we must all work with council to develop an acceptable plan for controlled burning.

On 1st September the winter outdoor burning restrictions are lifted. If you intend to burn diseased material or trees from development blocks after this date, you MUST adhere to the outdoor burning rules, if we are to retain our current privilege of burning wood material during winter.

This includes:

Please take time to review the current guidelines for outdoor burning. These can be found on the HBRC website: Burning Information Sheet

If you have any queries or concerns please email HBFA Executive Officer executiveofficer@hbfa.co.nz or phone 06 870 8541.