INDEPENDENT NEWS

Kiwifruit Strategy Project on track for record turnout

Published: Fri 20 Mar 2015 10:03 AM
Kiwifruit Industry Strategy Project on track for record turnout
On the final day of voting, grower turnout for the Kiwifruit Industry Strategy Project (KISP) referendum has surpassed all expectations and is on track to be the largest voter turnout in the horticulture sector for almost two decades.
KISP Independent Chairman Neil Richardson notes, “Our initial expectations were based around the average turnout for similar referendums across different sectors being 40%, and the NZKGI Levy vote in 2011 reaching 43% of grower turnout.”
“With voter turnout by both production volume and grower numbers already exceeding 50% we are confident that this referendum turnout will be the most significant the entire horticulture industry has seen since the late 1990s,” says Mr Richardson.
‘I would like to encourage growers who haven’t already done so to get out and vote today. The further we get past 50% turnout the stronger the mandate is for the results of the referendum. Over the last week around 600 growers have been spoken to and the indication is that the overwhelming majority are supportive of the KISP proposals and are either voting or intending to vote,” says Mr Richardson.
“Growers are appreciating the opportunity to have their say. In doing so they will send a clear message to all parties involved in the New Zealand kiwifruit industry on the vision they support for the future growth of their industry,” adds Mr Richardson.
Voting for the KISP referendum closes today. Due to large volumes of postal voting, the full results may not be available for up to two weeks following this date.
The KISP referendum asks growers to vote on the fundamentals of the kiwifruit industry, including: increasing grower ownership and control of their marketer Zespri; strengthening grower control of their industry; and enhancing the performance of their industry. The referendum will also ask growers to reaffirm their support for the Single Point of Entry marketing structure. This referendum follows an 18 month process involving more than 650 submissions, 80 grower and industry meetings and three rounds of consultation.
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