Frequently asked questions

The process

What is a Levy Referendum?

HortNZ's existing Commodity Levy Order expires in March 2025. The levy is our principal funding mechanism to support our work for growers. The process for establishing a levy is governed by the Commodity Levies Act 1990 and requires the organisation to hold a referendum of levy payers every six years.

What level of support is required?

A majority of growers voting positively measured both on:

  • A ‘one grower, one vote’ basis, and
  • A value of production weighted basis.

A positive result is required for HortNZ's to proceed to the next step of applying to the Minister of Agriculture to put the levy in place.

Who can vote in the HortNZ Levy Referendum?

The Commodity Levies Act 19990 stipulates that levy payers (growers) will vote in the referendum. Each grower or ‘legal entity’ will be entitled to vote. If you operate more than one orchard or farm, you are only entitled to more than one vote if those orchards/farms operate as separate legal entities (companies, partnerships, trusts etc.).

What if one of my entities did not receive this information?

Please call us and we will ensure that each legal entity liable to pay the levy is added to our database. HorNZ's freephone number is 0508 467 869.

How do I ensure I get a vote?

If HortNZ sent you a levy proposal, it is because you are recorded in our database as a grower who is required to pay the levy and therefore you will receive a voting paper. If this is not correct, please call us on 0508 467 869 or email

What if I have leased my orchard/farm?

If a property is leased, it is the party that owns the crop that will pay the levy and therefore hold the vote in the referendum.

What turnout and result are HortNZ expecting?

We know it is a busy time for growers, however we are encouraging every grower to cast their vote. In previous HortNZ votes, turnout has been relatively low. HortNZ wants a solid mandate on which to continue to advocate for growers.

What happens if there is a no vote?

A vote against continuing to invest in HortNZ will result in the organisation being wound-up.  It would mean there would be no advocacy body solely dedicated to working on behalf of all growers in New Zealand. The sector will lose capability and relationships, and programmes such as Lighter Touch and Growing Change will end. It will be extremely difficult to re-establish a pan sector entity in the future.


The proposal

What is the levy proposal?

To remain at the maximum levy rate of 15 cents per $100 of sales (2025-2031). 

How is it calculated?

The levy payable in a levy year must be calculated on the basis of the price received at the first point of sale, except where the commodity is exported, in which case the levy will be calculated on the price received by the grower after deduction of offshore costs or, the commodity is processed before the first point of sale, in which case the levy will be a percentage of the notional process value.

How will it be collected?

The levy will be collected in the same way as it is currently collected, by either the grower paying it directly or by the levy being deducted from payments made to growers by wholesalers, exporters and processors.

How will the levy be invested?

  • Research and development
  • Market and trade research, development, and promotion
  • Industry promotion
  • Development and implementation of quality assurance
  • Education and training, including attracting people to the industry and developing and retaining them
  • Information and communication, including advocating for and representing growers
  • Protection and improvement of the health of plants, including biosecurity activities
  • Day-to-day administration of HortNZ including central grower registration systems.