Zespri staff moved into their new head office in Mount Maunganui yesterday following the completion of the first phase of the new office redevelopment.
Almost 150 staff and key industry stakeholders attended a dawn ceremony late last month for local kuia and kaumatua to bless the new building.
Zespri acting chief people officer Dave Courtney said the new head office marked an important step in starting a new chapter in Zespri's story.
"Today's a really special day not just for our Zespri team but for the broader kiwifruit industry," he said.
"We achieved some great things in our old office and have some fond memories from our 23 years there, including the way our industry came together to work through some challenging times, but we've clearly outgrown it."
Courtney said the new office provided a modern working environment that connected them with both the Bay of Plenty and global markets.
He said the new office would also act as a hub for the kiwifruit industry, bringing together Zespri teams, and fellow industry organisations such as New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers (NZKGI) and Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) which each had ground floor offices in the new building.
Courtney thanked everyone involved in the building's design and construction and noted the initial design principles of sustainability, functionality and community.
"Sustainability is one of our major priorities at Zespri and it was important our new building reflected this", he said.
"Visitors to the new building will notice a range of features like our smart exterior facades which help reduce the need for temperature control, our energy efficient occupant sensor lighting and solar panels on the roof, rainwater collection technology and water-efficient plumbing fittings."
Asha Page, lead interior designer on the project says a core driver for the project was to create a global headquarters for the Zespri brand.
“Zespri's new headquarters - both the building itself and their new workplace – will act equally as a ‘tool’ for telling the amazing story of Zespri and kiwifruit in the region, in New Zealand, and to the world.”
Stage two is expected to be completed by the end of the year with an official opening of the new building in early 2020.
The next phase of work includes the final demolition of the previous 1970s-built head office and the construction of an additional wing to house several meeting rooms featuring the latest interactive technology and a demonstration kitchen.
Congratulations to Zespri, and the entire project team.
View more about the project here.