Home' Napier Mail : January 24th 2012 Contents 5
NAPIER MAIL, JANUARY 25, 2012
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House sales slow
It takes longer to sell a house in
Hawke s Bay than just about any-
where else in New Zealand.
Last month Hawke s Bay was the
slowest place to put sold stickers up,
with sales taking 61 days compared
with the average 39 days across the
rest of the regions.
Figures from the past five years
show that the Hawke s Bay market
has long languished near the bottom
of the days to sell table, taking an
average 58 days, ahead of only
Northland on 65 and Central Otago
In December, the best place to sell
a house if time was an issue was
Southland, with the sold stickers
going up after an average 30-day
It also fared best of all 13 regions
in the five-year figures, averaging 38
Hawke s Bay and Wellington were
the only regions where fewer homes
were sold in December than in
While Napier, with 78 sales,
almost matched the November total
of 80, sales in Hastings dropped from
85 to 55.
The median house price in Decem-
ber in both cities stood up reasonably
well compared with the previous
month and November 2010.
In Napier, the median price was
$315,000, compared with $290,000 in
November and $296,000 the previous
December. In Hastings, the median
price was $285,000, compared with
$285,000 in November and $279,000
the previous December.
The aftermath: The loss of half of New Zealand's ability to manufacture apple trays in a fire last week has
the industry racing to find alternative supplies.
Fruit trays burnt out
By DIANE JOYCE
The race is on to find enough
trays for the upcoming apple
and pear picking season after
the company that produces 50
per cent of New Zealand s
supply went up in flames.
The industry used about 90
million trays in an average
Hawk Packaging in Hastings
burst into flames at 7.30pm last
Tuesday night, destroying
everything except the office
The loss of trays already
manufactured and the halving
of production capability over the
season meant the industry had
to find a plan B very quickly,
said Pipfruit New Zealand chief
executive Peter Beaven.
On Friday, he said that the
season running about 10 days
late had turned out to be ben-
It means we ve got some lead-
in time; it would have been
much worse if it had happened
as picking started.
Picking would normally start
about February 10 but abnormal
spring weather had pushed that
out to about February 20.
About 60 per cent of New
Zealand s pip fruit crop is grown
in Hawke s Bay.
Pipfruit NZ is in talks with
the second New Zealand manu-
Its management believed the
company could cover the short-
fall by increasing the number of
shifts at its Auckland factory.
It also had a factory in Aust-
ralia that could potentially
increase production if required,
Mr Bevan said.
Another potential solution
was importing trays from over-
Pipfruit New Zealand had
manufacturers in Thailand and
China, and previous imports
had come from France.
Hawk Packaging owner and
managing director Tim Combs
did not want to comment on
efforts to replace stock.
On Friday a company spokes-
person said those matters were
still being worked through .
An investigation into how the
fire started at the Tomoana fac-
tory got under way last week.
It was the third fire on the site
within the last 12 months, the
second in the same paper
storage area, said fire service
assistant area manager Nigel
In the latest and biggest
blaze, fames leapt more than 20
metres into the air, shooting out
embers the size of footballs , he
The crews did really well,
some of them worked 14 hours
without proper breaks.
They stopped the spread. At
one stage flames were over the
top of the building next door,
Mr Hall said.
At the height of the blaze 20
fire engines were on the scene,
from as far afield as Palmerston
Cage fight night looms
Hawke s Bay s introduction to pro-
fessional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
at the Merciless cage fight night at
Pettigrew Green Arena in Napier
this Saturday is promising to be
The four professional MMA bouts
on the card of the Fierce Fitness
Gym-organised event, a fundraiser
for Women s Refuge, are all high-
quality match-ups, and there has
been plenty of local interest in the
nine corporate boxing matches
featuring well-known Bay business
The main event will see Fierce Fit-
ness fighter Dan Gravedigga Digby
take on Forrest Goodwin from
Christchurch. Digby is the current
New Zealand ICNZ welterweight
champion and Goodwin is the ICNZ
Digby, who had his first MMA
fight in 2005, is stepping up a weight
class and says it has been a bit of a
struggle to go from 77kg to 84kg.
I ve been eating a lot of hangis to
try and put on weight.
His trainer, Fierce Fitness owner
Jerry Sargeant, had been putting
him through a gruelling training
regime. Dan is an excellent wrestler
and submission specialist and has
done very well against recent compe-
tition, but this will be a different
fight, Sargeant said.
All corporate tickets had been sold
but general tickets to the January 28
event are available from Ticket Dir-
ect and Pettigrew Green Arena.
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