Plant vegetables not houses on prime growing land

02 Jun 2017

Carotts Field 2

As better weather means the supply of vegetables is improving, consumers will be noticing prices are returning to what can be expected for this time of year. The best buys are of course, seasonal vegetables. Leafy greens, being predominantly summer vegetables, will remain in shorter supply and that will keep the price higher than what is paid in summer. How much product is available and whether it is the season for that product to be grown, directly affects price.

Planting houses on prime horticulture growing land will have the same effect on fresh fruit and vegetables: supply will be reduced and prices will go up with demand. There is even the prospect of our domestic supply of vegetables having to be imported during winter and spring if there is not enough ideal growing land. That will also impact on price. So when the Government earlier this week announced a new building initiative in Auckland that will see 11 new houses a day being built, we are concerned. They are part of the Government’s plan for 34,000 new houses to be built in Auckland in the next 10 years.

Our plea to Government and the Auckland Council is that these houses are not built on high quality horticulture land, but instead are built on land that will not affect New Zealand’s ability to feed itself at reasonable cost – land more suitable for houses than horticulture.

-          Mike Chapman, CEO