Zespri staff have today moved into the company’s new head office in Mount Maunganui following the completion of the first phase of the new office redevelopment.
The new three-level office sits alongside Zespri’s former headquarters on Maunganui Road and can accommodate 340 Zespri staff. Featuring activity-based work zones spread across four work neighbourhoods, the new building also offers more than 180 carparks (including 90 underground parks) to help reduce congestion on local roads.
A dawn ceremony in late March where kuia and kaumatua from local hapū and iwi blessed the new building to ensure it would be a safe and welcoming environment had been attended by almost 150 staff and local industry stakeholders.
Zespri Acting Chief People Officer Dave Courtney says the new head office marks 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.
“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.
“Our new office provides a fantastic and modern working environment that connects us both with the significant kiwifruit growing region of the Bay of Plenty, but also with our global markets who are represented in the names of some of our new meeting rooms,” Mr Courtney says.
The new office would also act as a hub for the kiwifruit industry, bringing together Zespri teams who had previously been working at three sites across Tauranga and fellow industry organisations New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers (NZKGI) and Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) who have ground floor offices in the new building.
Mr Courtney thanked everyone who had been involved in the building’s design and construction for their hard work and commitment, noting that the result was a building that brought to life Zespri’s 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”, Mr Courtney says.
“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.
“We’ve also made sure that the range of timbers our contractors have used have the Environment Choice NZ tick or are FSC certified, and that the carpets are Environment Choice NZ or Cradle to Cradle certified.”
Zespri had invested over $40 million in the design, build, fit out and furnishing of the new complex, with the second phase of the building’s construction to commence shortly. This is expected to be completed by the end of the year with an official opening of the new building to occur 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. The neighbouring council-owned park would also be redeveloped and landscaped, providing another green space for the local community to enjoy.
“We’re looking forward to the completed building complex being a space that our community can enjoy and that the whole kiwifruit industry can come together in to celebrate future milestones and entertain visiting government, trade and media delegations.
“We see it not only as our new home, but a home for the wider industry, and we’re committed to working together to continue to deliver positive results for our growers and our communities in the years ahead,” Mr Courtney says.