Craigmore Sustainables has highlighted its commitment to investing in New Zealand’s regions with the purchase of a third property in Gisborne.

The 70-hectare property in Te Karaka, which will be named Sunpark in celebration of its location as the first place in the country to see the sun rising, will be developed into an apple orchard with approximately 50 hectares of planted area.

Key to the development are the employment opportunities generated for the region, with Craigmore looking to add a further five full time jobs, plus further work for supporting industries in the region.

Che Charteris, Craigmore CEO (Ngāti Tahu-Ngāti Whaoa descent), says Craigmore is working hard to address issues of under-employment and job opportunities in the regions.

“This investment reinforces this commitment. Building sustainable horticulture businesses that provide meaningful and long-standing employment opportunities is central to our vision and values.

“Our strategy is to build a diversified business of the best of New Zealand’s food and fibre producing areas for which we have an established reputation in export markets, while recognising that key regions such as Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) and Te Tai Rāwhiti (Poverty Bay/East Coast) can benefit from the investment as well, helping to boost regional employment and drive economic growth.”

Craigmore currently employs hundreds of local workers in both seasonal and permanent roles and is looking to expand that in the future across its full horticulture portfolio in New Zealand including emerging crops such as cherries, citrus, hops and avocados.

Head of Acquisitions Paul Burns says Craigmore have a strong focus on the right crop type for the right land.

“The Sunpark development adds to Craigmore’s existing apple orchard at Glenpark. Together with Springhill Orchard in Central Hawke’s Bay, Craigmore aims to produce 20,960 tonnes of apples by 2030. We see Sunpark as a good strategic fit for our wider portfolio”.

The purchase, which follows approval from the Overseas Investment Office in September 2022, will bring Craigmore’s investment in Te Tai Rāwhiti to in excess of $27.6m once fully developed.

Published: 25 October 2022