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Eastern Bay of Plenty

Last week’s heavy winds disastrous for Ōpōtiki kiwifruit growers

Gusts of up to 120km/h hit the town of Ōpōtiki last week, bringing down shelter belts in kiwifruit orchards and blowing buds off the vines. According to Brett Wooten of Aspen Horticulture, the winds could not have come at a worse time. He called it the worst damage since cyclone Bola hit in 1988.

He expected a six-figure loss of income from the damage. "We've gone from two weeks ago when we didn't know how we were going to get all of the work done to now we are not sure what we'll get the staff to do. We're still assessing the damage, we need to decide if we will go through and remove the dead material but it might not be financially viable so we might just let nature take its course."

He added that the damage was devastating, but the area of damage was localized, so the impact was not widespread.


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