Green growers struggle with their returns, their finances, and their heads!

Without delving into the reasons why returns are down for green kiwifruit growers, the consequences for many are dire.

Here are bullet points for an action plan:

A. PLAN — sit down with an independent person and:
• Complete a survey of your assets (realistic values) and liabilities (all of them)
• Calculate your unpaid revenue flow from Zespri. How much etc.
• Calculate, accurately, your outgoings for the rest of the season, paying particular attention to off-orchard costs in the way of interest, drawings, taxation, etc.
• Review your last set of Balance Sheets and identify any trends there. Are costs rising? Are you posting a cash loss? etc.
• List your strengths and your opportunities.
• List your weaknesses and non-negotiable stuff.

B. BUDGET — complete an accurate budget based on the information out of A above.
Get the budget programme to show peak overdraft levels. Identify if it requires further funding input.

C. MEETING — now call a meeting with your bank and your advocate/adviser and go through the above and ask the bank how he sees it (don't tell him how he should see it).
Ask him to provide solutions on what they will and will not do.

Armed with all this information you can now make some good logical decisions based on fact not emotion.

E. REALISE this stuff is hard on your head and your partners. Call meetings and sit down together and discuss what is happening for you and your feelings.

If you notice change in yourself or your partner, e.g.: putting on/losing weight, increased alcohol consumption, mood swings, hiding from people, loss of libido, feeling down all the time, then it is time to call on your doctor. Ask for a double appointment and go in there with a list of what you want to ask him/her.

He/she may recommend counselling, some medication and a holiday.

If he/she only offers medication, then ask for counselling.


All the professionals in all towns have been briefed on the issues. These include doctors, police, ambulance staff, churches, and Katikati Resource Centre.

Google offers many opportunities for further information. You can call up the helplines or Katikati Resource Centre on 07 549 0399.
Remember, you need not be alone on this, and going down the back of the orchard and brooding is not an option.
If you need help, ask for it or get your partner to ask!


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