Prime Pickings As Seasonal Workers’ Accommodation Complex Placed On The Market For Sale


One of the biggest commercially-operated seasonal
worker’s accommodation sites and businesses in New Zealand
– which simultaneously runs a backpackers venue for the
tourism sector – has been placed on the market for
sale.

The
land, buildings and business, known as Kiwi Corral Country
Backpackers is located on the outskirts of Te Puke in the
Bay of Plenty – New Zealand’s foremost kiwifruit growing
region.

The 12,140-square metre property at 26 Young
Road in Paengaroa is adjacent to the headquarters of one of
New Zealand’s biggest fully-integrated orchard-to-market
service companies, Seeka – which is instantly recognisable
to the public for the giant kiwifruit monument outside its
offices.

Established in 2007, Kiwi Corral Country
Backpackers has evolved from purely servicing the budget
tourism accommodation sector, into its current role as being
one of the biggest single-site seasonal worker’s complexes
in New Zealand.

The Kiwi Corral Country Backpackers
complex has a wide range of accommodation buildings and
support amenities licensed to house up to 500 fruit picking,
packing, and orchard maintenance workers in the Bay of
Plenty horticultural sector. Building infrastructure within
the Kiwi Corral Country Backpackers compound
encompasses:

  • A main central warehouse type
    structure housing male and female bunk dormitories,
    segregated men’s and women’s shower and toilet
    amenities, a kitchen, a recreation room, laundry amenities,
    refrigerated food storage amenities, lounge, and the
    business’s administrative offices
  • A three-bedroom
    on-site manager’s residence
  • 15 internal bunk rooms
    with capacity to house 8 – 10 people in each room
  • An
    attached 20-bed bunk house
  • 13 external bunkrooms –
    three housing 10-beds and 10 housing six-bed
    configurations.

and

Most of those staying at Kiwi Corral are
part of New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Workers (RSE)
scheme which provides 17 percent of the seasonal workforce
for kiwifruit picking and packaging.

Now the freehold
land, building infrastructure, and going concern Kiwi Corral
Country Backpackers business at 26 Young Road in Paengaroa
have been placed on the market for sale by international
tender through Bayleys Auckland and Bayleys Tauranga –
with tenders closing on October 15.

Bayleys
salespeople Jayson Hayde, Paul Dixon, and Snow Williams said
strict Government regulations now in place for the
management of international seasonal workers had further
strengthened Kiwi Corral’s position in the
market.

“Immigration New Zealand regulations for
international workers states that RSE-classified personnel
can’t live in private residential dwellings unless that
condition was included in the recruitment agreement prior to
September last year. Similarly, new RSE-classified personnel
can’t rent private residential dwellings,” said
Hayde.

“That means professional accommodation
providers such as Kiwi Corral bear the responsibility for
the provision of those services. The additional services
provided by Kiwi Corral place it at the top of the list for
orchard and packhouse owners around the Te Puke
region.

“The sale of Kiwi Corral is an opportunity
for some of the larger local kiwifruit growers or packhouse
operators in the Bay of Plenty to vertically integrate their
business activities – giving them control over the
production process of their crops and adding to their core
revenue stream.”

In addition to the accommodation
services, Kiwi Corral Country Backpackers also provides
worker transportation to the multiple orchards and
packhouses around Te Puke, and also providers transport for
guests to Te Puke’s supermarkets for the provision of food
and personal supplies.

Hayde said that with 2000 beds
available to seasonal workers in the Bay of Plenty, Kiwi
Corral in its current format had a 25 percent share of the
market. The next biggest accommodation providers in the
region could only house up to 200
personnel.

Meanwhile, packhouses could only build
on-site staff accommodation facilities for up to 75 RSE
workers – with the associated up-front consenting
application and construction costs deterring many fruit
growers from developing facilities themselves.

“Both
these factors further underpin the long-term viability and
on-going customer suppler for Kiwi Corral’s services.”
he said.

Data from the New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers
Institute reveals that the New Zealand kiwifruit industry
– most of which is based in and around Te Puke – will
require an additional 8,380 seasonal fruit picking and
packaging workers by 2027. The production side of the New
Zealand kiwifruit industry is braced for enormous expansion
in the next decade – with growers investing substantially
to increase the sector’s value to $4.5 billion by
2027.

Williams said the downstream effect of
investment in production was the associated staffing
requirements required to pick and pack the growing crop
harvest.

He said the Kiwi Corral Country Backpackers
business would be sold with on-going formal contracts in
place to provide accommodation services to multiple
kiwifruit growing orchards in and around the Te Puke
area.

“Those contracts are very specific –
outlining what accommodation services are provided by Kiwi
Corral, how many personnel the orchard or packhouse can have
staying at the venue, the duration of the employees’ stay,
and payment terms. Those protocols allow the Kiwi Corral
business to accurately plan for the allocation of its bed
availability for near total capacity throughout the season,
and to ensure smooth business continuity throughout the
year,” he said.

Reflecting the higher tonnage of
kiwifruit being picked in the Eastern bay of Plenty, Kiwi
Corral’s revenue grew 35 percent from the 2017/18
financial year compared to the just completed 2019/20
financial year. The business’s day-to-day operations are
run by a full-time on-site manager.

Dixon said there
was a substantial portion of undeveloped flat land within
the Kiwi Corral property which could sustain more
accommodation units – either in the existing standalone
cabin format, or subject to council consents, the
construction of more dormitory style
buildings.

© Scoop Media

 

Source Article