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to the Wairarapa Food Story

This is an account of the people, places, passion and importantly, the potential, that
forms the backbone of Wairarapa’s food industry. Essentially it is an unfinished success story peppered with challenges and opportunities and fuelled by hard work, determination and adaptability along the way.

It is a tale that traces back to the raw beginnings of the region’s foray into food – from the skilled horticultural hands of Wairarapa Māori and the early settlers’ ambitions as agriculturists, through to our present day diversity – which spans across a mouth-watering spectrum of food sectors.

Yet, while we take a walk through the history of food production in Wairarapa, looking to our past and to our provenance to see how far we have come, we also have a firm eye on our future. For, it is the future of food that holds the key to the next chapter of this Wairarapa narrative.

Wairarapa has already earned a sound reputation for culinary excellence. Home to some of the country’s finest producers and purveyors, our top chefs, restaurants, eateries and cooking schools strive to capture the essence of locally grown produce and turn it into ‘exquisite taste’.

But Wairarapa is only half way through its food journey.

Wairarapa is ripe for the picking and the food industry here is on the cusp of further growth. Our passion for food production coupled with the land’s topography, soil types and niche climates means we are set for the next phase of food innovation.

Our farmers, growers, and marketers too, are ready to explore new avenues and discover new recipe cards for the industry. Many are amongst life’s innovators. With foresight and an openness to diversity, our people are keen to unfurl the untapped potential that will carry our food industry forward for generations to come.


of Wairarapa's workforce is employed in food or food-related industry


of Wairarapa's contribution to GDP if from food or food-related industry


of New Zealands Olive Oil comes from Wairarapa

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