Country Life

Friday 22 May 2015, with Carol Stiles, Susan Murray, Cosmo Kentish-Barnes & Duncan Smith

Humming Hamama Orchard

suanaHoani Kerei, Alan Dobbie, Dave Wally and Blair Waipara on the Te Kaha 14B2 Trust orchard.

A decrease in domestic violence and kids now going to school with lunches are some of the tangible results of a successful kiwifruit orchard development in the small Eastern Bay of Plenty settlement of Te Kaha.

In 1999 the Te Kaha 14B2 Trust set up a 20 year joint venture with independent investors to develop an orchard with the aim of providing jobs and an income for locals, as well as encouraging other whanau to return home.

The orchard is just one of 20 or so in the area and, prior to its development, whanau moved away or were on the dole.

Thankfully that's now changed, says Hoani Kerei, who's a landowner and the manager of the four point four hectare orchard. People are gaining new skills and there is money in the community. "This way you can go to Opotiki every week to get you some new lollies," he laughs.

He says family life is better too. Some of that's because there is work and money, some of it because the workplace is drug free, with random testing.

When the ochard was first started, Hoani says he lost most of the work force in the first week.

"Mainly the males, so after that we were called the Grannies. Grandmothers and solo mothers, all the women. Few men stayed with us."  But he says now more men are trying to get clean and look for work on the orchard.

Returns from the gold kiwifruit were high and Hoani Kerei says with 800 thousand dollars in the bank, the Trust is ready to start looking for more kiwifruit land to buy.  "This is the beginning. The more money that comes to this area the more we're going to be able to develop whereas before we couldn't. We didn't have any money."

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Blooming Business

paul loader

With a family history of people with green thumbs, Paul Loader (above) was destined to end up in the business of growing.

Paul's great-grandfather grew freesias and table grapes in Dunedin in the early 1900s.

Paul and his wife Lyn started their careers in floriculture when they began growing flowers to supply their florist shop in Christchurch.

The venture now includes another generation. It expanded when Paul and Lyn were joined by their daughter Michelle and son-in-law Ian in 2000.

Specialising in gerberas and roses, K&L Nurseries now produces more than 2 million stems of cut flowers per year.

The business is committed to being energy efficient and environmentally friendly.  K&L Nurseries has switched from using coal to heat its glass houses to a BioMass boiler. The boiler runs on wood chips and is the first of its kind to be used by flower growers in New Zealand.

Paul says "It's been a challenge to sort out the right sort of wood chips and of course one of the major things is it's so clean. We used to have to wash the glasshouse roof with coal, but now there are no emissions at all."

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sheep guest

Federated Farmers North Canterbury Meat & Fibre Chairperson, Dan Hodgen says the drought in North Canterbury is far from over.

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Regional Wrap


It's been a warmer, drier week around the North Island, while on the West Coast of the South Island it's been raining cats and dogs.

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