New corporate shareholders for Opotiki Packing and Coolstorage Limited (OPAC) provide the company with a strategic advantage in the growing Eastern Bay of Plenty kiwifruit industry.
Te Tumu Paeroa – the new Māori Trustee, and Quayside Holdings Limited (Quayside) – the investment arm of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, will each own 10.1% of OPAC following agreement at a shareholders meeting yesterday.
The investment by each is part of an OPAC over-subscribed equity capital raising which totalled $4.85 million.
The combined resources of Te Tumu Paeroa, Quayside, and OPAC will work well together to encourage economic development in the region and create opportunities for landowners and their whānau.
Te Tumu Paeroa Chief Executive Jamie Tuuta said his organisation provided trustee services to owners of about 5,000 hectares of land in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, including several blocks with successful kiwifruit orchards.
“We want to convert other land into high value and high performing kiwifruit ventures. Being part of the wider supply chain provides better opportunities to support that,” Mr Tuuta said.
“We value the expertise that OPAC has in orchard development and management and are interested in working with them to provide further opportunities for land development in the region and for young people to be part of this industry,” he said.
Quayside Chief Executive Scott Hamilton said the investment in OPAC provides both positive long-term commercial returns as well as strong regional benefits.
“The Regional Growth Study Economic Action Plan identifies horticulture, particularly kiwifruit, as a significant growth opportunity for the Eastern Bay of Plenty. We believe that tangible benefits in this regard can be achieved through working collaboratively with both iwi and industry through our investment in OPAC” he said.
Approximately 80% of kiwifruit produced in New Zealand comes from the Bay of Plenty. Zespri forecasts that fruit volumes will increase by more than a third over the next few years.