17 Nov 2011

Heilala Vanilla company in Tonga will be affected by ship service

12:27 pm on 17 November 2011

The family owned Heilala Vanilla company would be among businesses affected should Reef Shipping stop servicing Vava'u in Tonga.

Heilala Vanilla exports its crop from Tonga to the company's base in Tauranga, New Zealand annually for chefs, gourmet food manufacturers and specialty retail stores.

Heilala manager, Jennifer Boggiss, says the change means greater restrictions on importing building materials over to their farm in Tonga, as well as restrictions on shipping their annual vanilla harvest back to New Zealand.

She says it appears the local shipping company uses a much smaller boat to Reef Shipping, which can't take larger containers.