Farmers want Pukekohe housing growth stopped

  • 23/11/2017
Farmers in Pukekohe have been fighting to protect their class one soils. Photo credit: File

Increased pressure is being put on the Government to protect New Zealand's food supply following a shortage of domestic fruit and vegetables.

A report released by Horticulture New Zealand earlier this month showed that New Zealand's supply of fresh fruit and vegetables is falling short of demand largely in part to urban developments encroaching on farm land.

Farmers in Pukekohe have been fighting to protect their class one soils, the best in New Zealand, as demand for housing in Auckland means houses are built on these premium soils.

Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says he has contacted the Government to set up a meeting regarding a food security plan but has yet to hear anything back.

While information about class soils was collected by regional councils around New Zealand, Mr Chapman said there were some gaps in regional knowledge.

He said that it was clear from the Auckland Unitary Plan where the good soils are and Horticulture New Zealand had written to the Government to stop any more housing development in Pukekohe.

"We are asking Government to have a food security policy.

"It has always been a problem... this is one of those things that hasn't had an enormous attention put to it."

Horticulture New Zealand has managed to protect 1 percent of Auckland's 4 percent of good growing soils and have begun a campaign for a food security policy in New Zealand.

New Zealand is currently 15th out of 113 countries on the Global Food Security Index.