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Property Express - Kerikeri kiwifruit orchard sells for benchmark price as Northland horticulture development gains pace

March 2021

A Kerikeri kiwifruit orchard sold in late 2020, becoming one of Northland’s highest priced recent rural property transactions.

Andrew Ludbrook of PGG Wrightson Real Estate, Kerikeri, sold the 7.3 hectare property, located between Waipapa and Kerikeri, which has 4.95 hectares planted in G3 gold kiwifruit. He says the $6.5 million selling price is a record for the area, and at $1.3 million per canopy hectare, rates close to similar properties in kiwifruit heartland Bay of Plenty’s highest valued localities.

“This superbly located orchard is in its first year as largely full canopy, and produced 80,000 trays for the 2020 season, not included in the sale. The property includes the irrigation right to draw water from the Kerikeri River. It attracted solid market interest, selling to a local businessperson with other property investments, motivated to move into kiwifruit.

“Its size, aspect and location provide future potential for residential subdivision, with the possibility of creating 20 quality sections, which contributed to its outstanding market appeal.

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“Kerikeri kiwifruit orchards rarely come to the market, though we occasionally have properties for sale that the owners prefer not to advertise, so anyone looking needs to make sure we know. As only a handful have changed hands recently, demand for these properties is exceptional, hence the value achieved in this instance,” says Andrew.

Mark Robinson, FruitFed Supplies Northland Area Sales Manager says the region’s growers are enjoying a good season.

“Kiwifruit harvest is set to begin in late March, with the crop looking favourable for both yield and size. While the 2020/21 avocado harvest is almost over, growers expect solid returns and prospects for the 2021/22 avocado crop are excellent,” says Mark.

Meanwhile, significant Northland horticulture development could be unlocked if Te Tai Tokerau Water Trust’s plans progress. Well under way to develop storage reservoirs and water delivery for two Northland schemes and backed by the government’s Provincial Growth Fund, plans would enable a shift towards sustainable higher-value horticultural land uses. Targeting 3000 hectares around Kaikohe and 4000 hectares at Kaipara with soils and climatic conditions suited to horticulture, the project seeks to support economic growth in local communities. Reservoirs would fill from surface water at high flow, eliminating the need to take aquifer water.

“These are exciting proposals that are progressing well. They could deliver profound land use change and economic growth for Northland. Since the areas concerned are currently traditional drystock farms, future production is uncertain. Clearly, significant additional investment will be necessary to achieve this potential, which the current owners are unlikely to be able to sustain by themselves. As this area does not have the same microclimate as Kerikeri, issues such as altitude, temperature and frost protection will all need to be considered in any horticulture development,” says Mark Robinson.

 

Andrew Ludbrook

Rural & Lifestyle Sales Consultant

M 027 254 4784

aludbrook@pggwrightson.co.nz

 

Read the full edition of the Autumn Property Express here.

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