HortNZ welcomes Govt’s recognition of the importance of vegetable growing in NZ in freshwater decisions

5 August 2020

Horticulture New Zealand is welcoming recognition of the importance of vegetable growing in the Government’s new national direction on freshwater management. 

‘HortNZ has worked with growers in Pukekohe and Horowhenua to demonstrate to central and local government that modern vegetable growing techniques dramatically reduce environmental impact,’ says HortNZ Chief Executive, Mike Chapman. 

‘Over the past decade, vegetable growers across New Zealand have been taking practical steps to reduce environmental impact through precision irrigation and fertilizer application, sediment traps and buffer zones, retiring land, and riparian planting. 

‘This activity and investment will continue as vegetable growers throughout New Zealand do their part of improve freshwater quality, while feeding New Zealanders and the world fresh, healthy and tasty vegetables.’

Today’s announcement allows a 10-year timeframe for the development and implementation of vegetable growing regimes in Pukekohe and Horowhenua that meet new bottom lines, while safeguarding the domestic supply of vegetables.  Pukekohe and Horowhenua are key vegetable growing areas. 

Today’s announcement also recognises that the regulations for growing vegetables need to be different to the regulations for other land uses such as grazing. 

HortNZ will continue to work with the Government on the freshwater reforms through its involvement in the drafting of the supporting regulations. 

The positive impact of fruit growing has already been recognised by the Government, which previously made decisions that provide for the expansion of these operations. 

The New Zealand horticulture industry is now worth more than $6.39 billion a year and employs approximately 60,000 people.