The apple of the property eye

The apple of the property eye

Total Property - Issue 5 2018

The latest Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (SOPI) says New Zealand export returns from farms, orchards, forests and fishing are tipped to hit a new record of $42.2 billion by the end of June.

The industrial property sector is leveraging off increased demand for processing and cold storage facilities, third party logistics (3PL), research and development hubs, manufacturing opportunities and other downstream activities in New Zealand’s established food belts.

General manager of Wine Marlborough, Marcus Pickens, says a 2017 report by New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) showed that wine contributed $477 million to the Marlborough economy and that the industry had grown 300 percent since 2000.

“That sparks wider opportunities for the Marlborough economy as a whole – including the industrial property sector’s response to this phenomenal growth,” says Pickens.

Wakatū Incorporation is a Māori-owned family business with operations spanning the top of the South Island encompassing Marlborough, Nelson and Tasman districts.

Kono, its food and beverage business, has brands including Tohu, Kono and Aronui wines, Tutū cider and Annie’s fruit bars.

Iain Sheves, general manager of Wakatū’s property arm, Whenua, says it manages a diverse portfolio which includes industrial processing and packaging facilities, vineyards, marine farms, orchards, residential properties, retail and industrial developments, and office buildings.

As intergenerational caretakers of land, water and other assets, Sheves says Wakatū is committed to sustainable and successful property development for the benefit of current and future generations, and it works collaboratively.

“In a fast-moving business environment, Wakatū can provide businesses with the facilities they need to scale up or down, while they optimise returns by focusing on their core business activities.”

The Hawke’s Bay region’s industrial property response to a prosperous horticultural sector, has largely been through coolstore, packhouse and logistics developments.

Logan Taylor is development manager for the emerging Tomoana Food Hub in Hastings which occupies a 16 hectare site with easy access to the Port of Napier.

“Our specific zoning only allows businesses in the food value chain, which means neighbours are always going to be other complementary food businesses,” says Taylor.

Taylor concedes that while the region is powered by the primary sector, it can’t be completely reliant on the booming apple industry alone.

“We’d like to see a more diversified industry and encourage collaboration and innovation whereby small start-ups and large multinational businesses can co-locate at the hub and focus on adding value, while creating strong brands that can take on global markets” he says.

The South Island is responsible for around 43 percent of total New Zealand milk solids production, and Rolleston in Canterbury has become a focal hub for processing and distribution in the dairy sector. Fonterra, Synlait and Westland Milk Products have all consolidated a presence there thanks to the industrial property and transport infrastructure available.

Westland Milk Products has an ultra-high temperature processing (UHT) plant on 7.23 hectares in the Izone Industrial Park in Rolleston.

Westland Milk Products’ chief executive officer, Toni Brendish, says when considering where to locate its UHT plant, they took into account milk availability, obtainability of space to build the plant, closeness to transportation, warehousing facilities and distribution networks.

“The Rolleston site proved to offer the most advantages and was also more cost-effective.”

Meanwhile, Mark Exton, business development manager for Timaru-headquartered cold storage providers Coolpak, says the decision to expand its operation into Rolleston was strategic, and its currently operating at around 90 percent capacity from the 3-hectare Rolleston site.

“Looking at forecast growth in the primary sector for the Canterbury and West Coast regions, a lot of that positivity will play into our hands and we’re already talking about further expansion.”

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