Monday, 05 August 2019 09:56

Thorpe bags Bledisloe Cup

Written by 
Bill Thorpe and wife Margaret with the Bledisloe Cup. Bill Thorpe and wife Margaret with the Bledisloe Cup.

The Bledisloe Cup for 2019 has been won by Gisborne horticulture leader, Bill Thorpe.

The cup celebrates a person who has made an outstanding contribution to horticulture in New Zealand.

Thorpe was presented with his award at the Our Food Future Horticulture Conference dinner at Mystery Creek on August 1.

He has been associated with horticulture for 50 years. He was involved in some of this country’s first commercial kiwifruit plantings in 1969. By 1975, he had developed Gisborne’s first, seamless kiwifruit packhouse and export facility.

A Hort NZ statement says Thorpe has made a profound contribution to persimmon industry over the past 40 years. 

In 1988, he became a founding member of the New Zealand Persimmon Industry Council, of which he remains an active member. In 1997, he started exporting persimmons and was highly instrumental in the push into markets like China and the US.

Thorpe is described by his colleagues as ‘commercially mature and unfailingly courteous’ and ‘an absolute gentleman and statesman of the industry’. He is also known to be ‘relentless in representing the growers of the Gisborne region’.

In receiving his award, Thorpe said that it had been particularly satisfying to have spent most of his working life involved in such a dynamic and forward-looking industry.

‘To receive this award tonight is a real honour. In the twilight of my career I am particularly honoured to join the impressive list of people who have their names engraved on this magnificent trophy.’

The Bledisloe Cup for horticulture was first presented in 1931 by the then Governor General Lord Bledisloe, for a competition between orchardists for the best exhibit of New Zealand apples at the Imperial Fruit Show.

It is one of several cups Lord Bledisloe presented to New Zealand and is similar to rugby’s Bledisloe Cup, which was also donated in 1931.

More like this

Desperate hort sector demands govt action

Horticultural exporters, growers, food companies and industry leaders are pleading for the Government to make a plan to allow Pacific Island seasonal workers to return later this year.

Seasonal worker facility opened

A new state of the art accommodation facility for RSE or temporary overseas workers at a large Māori kiwifruit orchard in the Bay of Plenty has been opened by the Minister of Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta.

Vege crops at risk of rotting

Fruit and vegetable growers are warning their produce will be left unpicked and rotting in the fields unless the Government approves urgent visas for overseas workers.

National

Cow cull coming?

Farmers are happy to play their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions but the Government has to come to the…

Health Hub returns

The Health and Wellbeing Hub is back at Fieldays this year, focusing on the importance of rural health and providing…

Machinery & Products

Lady muck really does suck

As anyone will attest to – if they’re married to someone with horses, have kids with ponies or are foolish…

The perfect workhorse

Hastings-based Kleer Contractors provides 24-hour machine work and labour for a local food processing plant.

All-new Claas Disco arrives

The Claas Harvest Centre display at Mystery Creek will include the public debut of the all-new CLAAS Disco 10 series…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

More sunlight

OPINION: Your canine crusader hears that not all is rosy in the world of supposed rural sector congeniality.

Cracked China

OPINION: Your old mate reckons Fonterra and its dairy farmer shareholders may well be all cock-a-hoop about the prospects of…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter