22 Feb 2018

Gita: Motueka orchards hit hard

1:53 pm on 22 February 2018

Orchards in the Motueka area have been hit hard by flooding from Cyclone Gita, prompting fears fruit will not make it to market.

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Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles

The Nelson region grows a quarter of the country's apples, and in the past week has started harvesting this year's crop.

Apple and Pears Incorporated chief executive Alan Pollard said the flooding came at a bad time and was a big set back.

"A lot of damage means fruit won't make it to market," he said.

Flooding north of Motueka

Flooding north of Motueka Photo: RNZ / Logan Church

In proportion to the overall crop, the effects will be small, he said, but to individual orchardists the damage would be a "significant challenge".

Riwaka suffered a lot of damage and, while Motueka also experienced flooding, it had some relief in good drainage, Mr Pollard said.

"Some orchards are out there picking already," he said.

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