Australasian produce company Seeka has unveiled its new head office in the kiwifruit heartland of Te Puke, New Zealand.
The NZX-listed company – New Zealand’s largest kiwifruit grower – spent NZ$4m rebuilding, modernising and customising a well-known kiwifruit slice-shaped building that was formerly used as a tourist centre.
Set amongst 7.5ha of land, the new office will house Seeka’s finance, corporate, health and safety, postharvest, orchard, grower services and IT departments. Around 80 staff will be based in the new head office, up from 60 at its previous site.
Seeka also has plans to relocate its existing laboratory in the township of Te Puke to a new premises adjoining the head office.
“We had outgrown our old head office,” said Seeka chief executive Michael Franks. “Last year we rebranded and repositioned the company and we now have a head office that is consistent with our vision for the company. We remain close to Te Puke and are headquartered amongst our growers in a modern, user-friendly building that will allow us to engage much more effectively with them.”
The new office was officially opened by the Maori King, HM Kiingi Tuheitia, late last week. The ceremony was attended by New Zealand trade minister Todd McClay and some 700 growers, local government officials and community leaders.
“Maori trusts are the largest New Zealand shareholder group in Seeka and the company has been a committed partner of iwi in helping our people develop their resources,” Kiingi Tuheitia said. “I am delighted to be here to demonstrate our ongoing engagement with the region, and our support for Seeka and what it is doing for the kiwifruit industry and for all of us economically.”
McClay said Seeka’s investment showed the great strengths of the Bay of Plenty kiwifruit industry.
“The sector is creating jobs and is an extremely important part of New Zealand’s export profile,” he explained. “As a local MP and trade minister, I’m always keen to support great local initiatives that deliver benefits to our community.”