Former Zespri Chairmen Craig Greenlees, Doug Voss, Peter McBride, John Palmer and Zespri CEO Dan Mathieson at the opening of the Zespri Head Office - credit Jamie Troughton and Dscribe Media

(l-r) Former Zespri chairmen Craig Greenlees, Doug Voss, Peter McBride, John Palmer and Zespri CEO Dan Mathieson at the opening of the Zespri Head Office. Photo: Jamie Troughton and Dscribe Media

Four previous Zespri chairmen – Craig Greenlees, Peter McBride, John Palmer and Doug Voss – were on hand to officially open the kiwifruit marketer's new head office in Mount Maunganui today (14 February).

With phase one of the new complex completed in April 2019, phase two has seen the completion of a new meeting wing featuring an additional 486m2 space, five meeting rooms and a demonstration kitchen.

The former chairmen cut a commemorative ribbon in front of around 500 growers, Zespri customers, representatives from NZKGI, KVH and the post-harvest sector. The opening coincided with the kiwifruit industry’s marquee Momentum conference.

Zespri’s current chairman, Bruce Cameron, said the completion of the complex represented a significant milestone for the kiwifruit industry.

“This building was always designed to be a hub for the industry and to celebrate its completion with so many of our industry stalwarts and customers during Momentum 2020 is a fitting way for us to start what we hope will be another successful year for our industry,'Cameron.

“With the building’s completion and our recent brand refresh, Zespri now has an excellent platform for its next phase of growth which we hope will enable us to create continued strong returns for our growers and help people, communities and the environment around the world thrive through the goodness of kiwifruit.”

The total office complex now measures 5,264m2. The new meeting rooms all carry names of significance to New Zealand's kiwifruit industry, recognising people like Alexander Allison, Isabel Fraser or Hayward Wright, along with important locations around the world.

Zespri office 10 - credit Sam Hartnett

The meeting wing’s demonstration kitchen has been designed to enable the industry to host tour groups and provide a multi-functional space for significant events.

“Last year alone we hosted nearly 800 visitors and the new meeting wing provides not only a stunning space to host them, but also educate them about our industry’s history,” Cameron said.

Reflecting the commitments announced during Momentum 2020, the building also features a number of sustainable design features.

“Embracing sustainable design principles was certainly a focus for us in this build, so the complex features solar roof panels, energy efficient sensor lighting, grey water storage, electric vehicle charging stations, ability to charge 16 electric bikes and improved recycling options,” Cameron said.

“Since our team moved into the new building in April 2019, we’ve already seen some efficiencies and we’re looking forward to that continuing with the new wing now in action.”

Asiafruit journalist Liam O'Callaghan has travelled to Mount Maunganui this week to attend Momentum 2020. Stay up to date with the latest news and key developments from the conference via his Twitter account @liamfruitnet.

Zespri office 15 - credit Sam Hartnett