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Maori delegation head to Tokyo for culture and business

4 April 2012

Maori delegation head to Tokyo for culture and business

A prominent Maori-owned kiwifruit company will lead a 55-strong business and cultural delegation to Tokyo this Sunday to further expand their produce into the Japanese market.

Mt Maunganui-based Te Awanui Huka Pak is a major player in New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry and this looks set to get even stronger when they give their Japanese customers a taste of ‘iwi-fruit’ at the opening of the Zespri Trade Conference – one of the biggest gatherings of movers and shakers in the international kiwifruit industry.

“This will be the start of something bigger and better and it is great news for New Zealand’s industry considering the tough times we have endured recently,” said Te Awanui Huka Pak chief executive Hemi Rolleston.

“We will be using our culture and reputation as a major player in the industry.

“This delegation has huge potential to further enhance and develop the Maori brand alongside its gloabal partner Zespri.

“Te Awanui is honoured to be invited to help open the conference and it goes to show that the Japanese really do appreciate our culture and our values as Maori.”

Te Awanui is recognised as having some of the best producing orchards in the world as well as being the largest shareholder in Seeka Industries – the largest post-harvest operator of kiwifruit in the world.

The company, owned by several Maori land trusts and whanau, has put together a cultural group, including Ria Hall (2011 World Rugby Cup opening singer), to deliver performances at the opening of the conference.

Other organisations had also been invited to be part of Te Awanui’s delegation. They include Maori orchard growers from Te Kaha, Whakatane and Te Puke as well as New Zealand Trade Enterprise, Export New Zealand, Federation of Maori Authorities and the Maori Trustee.

Background Information

Te Awanui Huka Pak Business & Cultural Delegation to Tokyo

What is the purpose of the delegation?

Te Awanui Huka Pak has accepted an invitation from Zespri* to open its prestigious Zespri Trade Conference in Tokyo on April 10. About 300 Zespri VIP customers are expected at the conference. Te Awanui will be involved in the powhiri to guests and will also be gifting Maori carvings to the Zesbri office in Japan to reciprocate the gift of Japanese swords that have been given to Te Awanui. While in Tokyo, the delegation will also meet with leading executives from the world’s industry leaders and take an on the ground look at the whole value chain as their fruit arrives on the Japanese market.

*ZESPRI International Limited is the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit, selling kiwifruit into more than 60 countries and managing 30% of the global volume.

Who is Te Awanui Huka Pak and what does it do?

Te Awanui is a multi-million dollar Maori-owned company which grows, processes and stores kiwifruit. Te Awanui is recognised as having some of the best producing orchards in the industry and being the largest shareholder in Seek Industries – largest post-harvest operator in the industry – alongside Tokyo Seika (largest fruit wholesaler in Japan) and Fresh Systems (largest fruit ripening and logistics operations). Te Awanui is among the largest single site kiwifruit packhouses with a production potential of over five million trays a year. Most of Te Awanui’s kiwifruit production is marketed by association with Zespri, but its own brand is exported to India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and North America. Te Awanui is located on three hectares of prime industrial land at the southern end of Totara Street, Mount Maunganui. That’s where the name ‘Te Awanui’ comes from the Maori name for the harbour area of what is now called Tauranga. This location gives convenient access to Te Awanui growers, shipping facilities and staff.

Who will be part of the delegation?

The delegation will consist of 55 representatives from Te Awanui and a cultural group it has put together including Ria Hall (Rugby World Cup opening singer). Te Awanui has invited representatives from the following groups to be part of the delegation: Orchard owners in Te Kaha, Whakatane and Te Puke, Federation of Maori Authorities, Maori Trustee, Export New Zealand, New Zealand Trade Enterprise and Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Who is paying for the delegation?

Te Awanui will meet all the costs of its representatives and the members of the cultural group while the representatives of all others invited will be covered by their organisations.


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