There are large problems ahead for one of NZ's major apple growing regions; Nearly half of Hawke's Bay's apple orchards have been damaged, some critically, by cyclone Gabrielle. This has caused the Apples and Pears NZ to write to the government asking for special help. Chair of Apple and Pears NZ Richard Punter told Rural News that there are 8,400 hectares planted in apples in Hawke's Bay and 47% of that land has been damaged. He says that just leaves 53% of the remaining land, or 4,400 hectares, that can be harvested in the normal way.
Punter estimates that there are 150 pome fruit growers in the region and 80 of these are affected by the cyclone. He says the huge numbers they have come up with are very accurate because they wanted to give government ministers quality information on which to base decisions.