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27 April 2023

Regrowing New Zealand’s food security in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle

To grow or not to grow? This is the question food producers are asking themselves across Hawke’s Bay.

We visited the area in early March, three weeks after Cyclone Gabrielle had drowned and, in many cases, washed away entire crops, to discuss how the disaster will impact New Zealand's food security for years to come.

Named the fruit bowl of New Zealand, Hawke’s Bay is our largest growing region for stone and soft fruits, with one of the world's highest levels of production per hectare.

The region has lost around 25% of its harvest for the year. The crops that were rain or wind damaged may have a harvest again in the next year or so. Then there are crops that have been totally wiped out, and the supply won't come back for years – if ever.

Our podcast producer, Tom Riste-Smith, spoke with growers in the region about what New Zealanders can expect in the latest episode of Consume This.

Image of ruined fruits and veggies
Image o vineyard
Philip Barber, owner of Petane wines, stands in the field of silt where his vineyard used to be.
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Phillip Barber talking to our podcast producer Tom Riste-Smith.
Image of Ben and his garden
Ben Duclercq the owner of Petit Jardin, a small vegetable farm in Bay View, lost over 75% of his crop that was totally submerged.
Image of apples in silt
The trees have been stripped bare in this Yummy Fruit Company orchard – the apples now rotting in the silt.
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Consume This podcast

Consume This unpacks the big issues facing New Zealanders today: from fast fashion and the housing market, to the world of data privacy and more.

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