A wide range of fruit crops are grown in New Zealand. They include oranges, lemons, avocados and persimmons, which grow in the warm north. Berries, olives and nuts grow in cooler areas.
Fruit is sold in New Zealand and to other countries – fresh, frozen, or made into juice or other products.
Citrus fruit have been grown in New Zealand since 1819, when the first orange trees were planted at Kerikeri. Other citrus fruit include:
- New Zealand grapefruit.
Avocados have been grown in frost-free areas since the 1970s. The fruit are exported, or made into oils for cooking and skin care.
Persimmons were first planted in New Zealand in 1873, and have recently become an export crop, mainly to Asia.
Tamarillos are a sharp-tasting red fruit that were previously called tree tomatoes. The name was changed to end confusion with tomatoes.
Passionfruit vines are grown on a trellis, and have purple fruit with many seeds inside. Banana passionfruit have become a pest in forests, where they smother native plants.
Feijoas have perfumed oval green fruit. They were first grown in New Zealand as ornamental shrubs.
Blueberries were introduced from the US in the 1950s. They are New Zealand’s most valuable berry export crop.
Strawberries are mostly grown for sale in New Zealand. They are usually planted in soil covered with black polythene, which prevents weeds and helps warm the soil.
Blackcurrants are mainly exported or made into Ribena, a fruit drink. Outside of Europe, New Zealand is the world’s largest producer of blackcurrants.
Boysenberries have large, tasty fruit, which are frozen, canned or made into jams and ice cream.
Raspberries have been grown in New Zealand since early European settlement. They are made into jam or eaten fresh. Raspberries need a cold winter to fruit.
Nuts grown in New Zealand include:
Olives have been grown in New Zealand since the 1830s, but the olive industry started only in the 1990s. By 2006, 1 million olive trees had been planted, and oil was being made from the fruit.