Support to regional agriculture following Cyclone Gabrielle

Published: 28 September, 2023

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  • Gisborne/Tairāwhiti

Find out how the Government is supporting growers throughout Gisborne/Tairāwhiti. This supports the region after the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle. These loans are being delivered via the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund.

$20 million in Regional Strategic Partnership Fund (RSPF) loans have been approved for businesses across Tairāwhiti. These loans will support the effort to restore stability and grow the region’s agricultural sector. The funding recipients - LeaderBrand, Corson, and Cedenco, create significant economic activity for the region and are substantial local employers.

LeaderBrand is one of the country’s largest domestic produce growers. They are the producer of approximately 44% of New Zealand’s domestic bagged salads. They have been approved for a loan up to $6 million. This loan will support the cyclone recovery, help replant damaged crops and develop further growth. LeaderBrand is one of the largest employers in the Gisborne region. They support the local community by leasing 1,800 hectares of agricultural land in Tairāwhiti. This is leased from a combination of family businesses, companies, and collectively owned Māori entities.

In 2019, LeaderBrand received a $17 million loan through Kānoa’s Provincial Growth Fund. This was to build an 11-hectare covered greenhouse, to increase crop production and ensure food security for the country. The greenhouses are now complete and operational. This new loan will support LeaderBrand’s ongoing operations in the region.

Learn more about LeaderBrand’s greenhouses through our stories.


Corson has forecast additional costs due to Cyclone Gabrielle and has also been approved for a loan of up to $6 million. The company processes grain crops and harvests for 43% of growers throughout Tairāwhiti. This makes Corson a sizable presence in agriculture for the region. Corson will purchase damaged maize crops in Tairāwhiti. This is to help the region’s suppliers and meet existing commercial food grade orders via increased imports of Australian maize.

Gisborne-founded company Cedenco is approved for a loan of up to $8 million following the impact of cyclone Gabrielle. Significant cyclone related damage includes crop losses, inventory damage, production decline and increased costs. Cedenco employ over 400 full-time, part-time, seasonal employees and contractors across Tairāwhiti and Hawkes Bay. The company processes multiple crops and harvests for over 70% of the region's growers.

Funding from the RSPF is approved in principle, after which a contract is negotiated. Funding is dependent on completion of conditions and payments are made once agreed milestones have been met. These requirements are set during contract negotiations, which can differ from project to project.