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East Coast floods making things even worse for hurting horti sector

Heavy rainfall and flood damage across Tairāwhiti on the Northeast Coast of the North Island of New Zealand has added to the challenges for the horticulture sector. It couldn’t have come at a worse time for those in the middle of harvest, with the flood causing crop damage, cutting off staff cut through road closures and exacerbating existing labor shortage issues.

Richard Burke, chief executive Gisborne-based vegetable grower LeaderBrand, said its biggest challenge was that the roads out of Gisborne were damaged and no produce could be moved.

"It is frustrating that we have to lobby to get infrastructure attended to. If you want regions to have long term sustainable growth you need to look past what some of the metrics are for investment in infrastructure,” Burke said. “Stock might need to be dumped because it would not reach consumers before its shelf life came to an end.”


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