Fruit and veg growth areas need protection

  • 29/10/2017
Horticulture NZ would like to meet with the new Labour Government to look at which areas need protecting (AAP)
Horticulture NZ would like to meet with the new Labour Government to look at which areas need protecting. Photo credit: AAP

Fruit and vegetable growers in New Zealand are worried that growing housing demands are eating into productive land, and putting fresh food supplies at risk.

The issue is particularly prevalent in Pukekohe, where Auckland city continues to expand, resulting in the loss of valuable production land, Horticulture NZ chief executive Mike Chapman told Q+A.

"The soils there are very unique and it is a great place to grow vegetables, Pukekohe feeds us in the spring," Mr Chapman said.

"If we lose Pukekohe we will be importing."

Horticulture NZ doesn't want the growth of housing to stop, just for the Government to consider the areas where homes can be bought.

"You can't farm effectively when you have houses right up against your boundary," Mr Chapman said.

"What we're saying is that it's not houses or horticulture, we're saying let's plant the houses where it's not good to grow vegetables."

Horticulture NZ would like to meet with the new Labour Government to look at which areas need protecting, and how to go about this.

"The first step is to look at the country as a whole, at different times of the year. Different parts of the country feed the country, we need a national view," Mr Chapman said.

"We need to protect those parts to feed New Zealand - if we don't, we will be increasing our imports."

NZN