Opportunities and challenges in creating functioning horticulture ecosystem for Te Tai Tokerau.

Executive Summary

Northland is currently going through a transformational phase, with a surge of horticultural developments from the Kaipara all the way to the Far North of New Zealand. This growth is mainly due to land use change and land price/availability in the region, but also diversification of marketable food opportunities coming out of Northland.

This project involved the creation of a short film. The purpose of the film was to provide an impactful medium, showcasing Northland’s horticulture scene and its growth. This film highlights the implications of this growth. One of these is the regions ability to attract and retain a skilled labour force, as well as working on workforce solutions to create sustainable employment opportunities for local Northlanders.

Alongside this, we need to consider our social licence to operate in the community. Engagement with community groups, iwi and others is critical to ensuring the success of regional developments. A key theme that emerged during filming, is the opportunity that horticulture delivers to the regions economic growth.

A flourising horticulture ecosystem, not only provides diversification of economic returns, but also encourages value chain partners to establish in Northland, thus increasing the skill base and opportunity for our future workforce. This has a knock on effect for improving local small businesses.

Infrastructure investment for better roads, accommodation and power has been highlighted as key priorities for the region to flourish.

A range of stakeholders provided insights on our topics:

  • Horticulture in Northland
  • Growth and development
  • Opportunities and challenges
  • Workforce development
  • Engaging community
  • The future.

My recommendations are:

  • Value chain businesses should consider supporting the region by establishing a base up in Northland.
  • Develop a functioning ecosystem that becomes an enabler for driving skills and capability of our people.
  • Design & Implementation of Workforce Development Solutions in association with industry groups, product groups, growers, businesses, iwi, and government agencies.
  • Economic Development to support Infrastructure needs identified in the film specific to:
      • power supply and capacity
      • housing and accommodation
      • town planning, roading solutions
      • transport & logistics.

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