The New Zealand Food Story: Pukekohe Hub

Case studies

The New Zealand Food Story: Pukekohe Hub


Horticulture New Zealand (HortNZ) is an industry association representing New Zealand’s horticultural sector, which encompasses 5,000 commercial fruit and vegetable growers.

Project start and completion dates

February 2018 – August 2018


Horticulture is one of the success stories of New Zealand’s primary industries. In 2017, the industry generated $5.68 billion in value. Export revenue has grown nearly 50% in five years, illustrating the trust the world places in New Zealand-grown food, and the country’s ability to meet that demand.

But the industry cannot rest. New Zealand faces opportunities with a growing population and the need to grow fresh produce. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Auckland, and its surrounding rural land. The population is set to rise to 2.3 million by 2043, straining natural resources and infrastructure and growers are feeling that pressure. The Pukekohe growing hub straddles the Auckland and Waikato District boundaries, and it is key to sustaining the fresh food supply to the country’s largest city. The squeeze on prime growing land in the Pukekohe hub, access to water, and the tensions between the existing industry and new neighbourhoods all demand a more considered and concerted approach to planning.

The challenge

Horticulture New Zealand (HortNZ) engaged Deloitte to produce a report detailing the current economic, social and community benefits of fruit and vegetable growing, and primary processing in the Pukekohe growing hub. Primary processing refers to processing such as washing, cutting and packaging vegetables, within the defined area and includes produce grown outside the hub that is brought into the hub for processing.

The report also delved into the end consumers of produce grown and processed in the hub, and explored the economic impact of a constraint to this horticulture production.

Our approach

Primary research was conducted through consultations with industry participants, including relevant growers, distributors and retailers. The Treasury’s Living Standards Framework was used as an ordering principle for capturing the benefits and constraints experienced by the sector. Input Output modelling was used to determine the economic impact of horticulture, and CGE modelling was used to illustrate, under a range of scenarios, the effect of production loss on the industry’s value and on consumer prices.

The report made a number of recommendations for central and local government to consider regarding land-use and policy choices for the affected area and industry, and was launched by the Agriculture Minister in August 2018.

Read the full report, ‘New Zealand’s Food Story: The Pukekohe Hub’ on our website.

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