OUR STORY

Mangaweka asparagus is located in the beautiful Kawhatau Valley, in the central North Island of New Zealand.

Our owners

George and Diana Turney are the owners of Mangaweka Asparagus. They emigrated from England in 1965 and have been in involved in farming all their lives. George started as a General Hand on a large sheep and beef and cropping farm in the Rangitikei and progressed on to Manager. They also had 4 children during this time.

He was always impressed with the climate and soils of the Rangitikei and thought it could produce more extensive horticultural crops, but never had the money to buy in such a fertile sort after farming area.

They bought and farmed small farms in different parts of the country, until they were able to purchase land in the Rangitikei in 1989. This is where the interest started in asparagus, with a small block in the Kawhatau Valley. At that stage the asparagus all went to a cannery.

Now on another property in the same valley they supply supermarkets all over New Zealand, a small amount to the cannery and some to export markets.

They are committed to the sustainable farming of vegetables and enjoy the innovations of the horticultural sector in New Zealand.

"It is exciting and rewarding providing healthy food for New Zealanders"

 

The General Manager

Sam Rainey runs the day-to-day business while George now sits in a more advisory role.
Sam was born and bred in Mangaweka and has recently returned to the area after periods of travel and work both overseas and in other parts of NZ.

He has worked in Sales through to Ag work and has a BCom Ag from Lincoln University.

Sam is married to Hannah and they have two young boys. Sam and Hannah have recently invested in the industry with new plantings close by.

Our people

We know too well that our staff are our biggest asset. Without our tireless harvest and pack house staff who turn up everyday for 3-months there is simply no way we could get these tasty spears to you. 

We are committed to supporting the local community and the employment of local New Zealanders.

We have a dedicated team of locals who come on board every year for the busy harvest season.

Because of our isolated location away from a bigger centre and labour source, the majority of harvest and packhouse staff come out for the seasonal work from Vanuatu. These young men are predominantly from the small outlying islands of Mota Lava and Futuna. They are now a key part of the business and the friendships we now share with both current and ex staff has been more valuable than we could have ever imagined.

Every time you purchase a bunch of Mangaweka Asparagus you are directly helping with the lives of these young men and their families.
The money earnt during their time here at Mangaweka Asparagus goes directly back to the families who need it most. We have seen new houses built to withstand the cyclones, the education and upskilling of the younger generation which can be costly and small businesses begin to prosper. It really is a true success story.