This week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern toured a Te Puke kiwifruit packing house. Ardern started by giving thanks to Trevelyan's Pack and Cool workers for continuing to work through the lockdown and helping to "keep New Zealand fed".
During the tour of the facility, Ardern was briefed about the safety measures implemented for the 1300-plus workers employed by the facility in the peak season. "First I wanted to say a huge thank you on all of our behalf," she said. "You were part of our essential workforce when we needed to make sure we kept New Zealand fed."
She also thanked the company for providing jobs when they were needed and spoke to new efforts to retrain people and support more Kiwis coming into the industry.
Deputy chair of New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers, Mark Mayston, said more people were coming into the kiwifruit industry following job losses due to COVID-19. "We have had Air New Zealand cabin crew, engineers, as well as people, form the tourism industry and hospitality," he said. "There have been a lot of different sectors affected by COVID-19."