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The NZ Hothouse Timeline

Image for 1983

1983

Brett Wharfe buys his first tomato glasshouse in Ramarama, South Auckland and he supplies his first tomatoes to Foodtown (now Countdown).

Image for 1986

1986

Brett opened Karaka Pack House (KPH) to pack and market local produce to the supermarkets.

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1992

KPH relocates to a larger pack house at Mill Rd, Bombay and KPH Transport is created to deliver NZ Hothouse product to it’s retailers.

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1999

The current Karaka Rd site is acquired construction begins on the offices, packhouse and first 5.2 hectares of production facilities.

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2000

Underglass Ltd (the growing arm of NZ Hothouse) builds a further 5.2 hectares of state of the art glasshouses at the Karaka Rd site.

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2002

Underglass Ltd builds a further 8.5 hectares of glasshouses at the Mill Rd site in Bombay.

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2004

Underglass Ltd expands the Bombay glasshouse site by another .2 hectares.

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2008

Substantial investments in technology and packing and grading equipment at NZ Hothouse were made, allowing us to increase our productivity.

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2014

KPH Transport Ltd purchased Cooltrain Hastings doubling the size of it’s fleet to over 50 trucks, 4 depots and 70 employees.

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Now

The NZ Hothouse Group Ltd now employs more than 350 full-time staff.

Brett’s Story

Founder and Executive Chairman Brett Wharfe started growing tomatoes in 1984.

It all started as a one man growing operation, sending fruit to the wholesale markets. Today, the NZ Hothouse Group of companies employs more than 350 people in their growing, packing, marketing and logistics divisions.

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We pride ourselves on using predator insects and biological solutions rather than insecticides, to offer New Zealanders with fresh, clean, healthy produce.

Brett Wharfe Signature

“I believe the success of the company has been getting great people to join us in our vision to make NZ Hothouse a well run, high end producer of hothouse produce.”


Key Staff Members

Brett Wharfe
COMPANY FOUNDER / EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN

Brett founded the group more than 30 years ago and is regarded by the industry as a pioneer and leader in Grower/Packer/Shipper systems.

Simon Watson
MANAGING DIRECTOR - NZ HOTHOUSE LTD

Simon joined the Group more than 20 years ago and holds roles in sales, finance and general management.

Lex Dillon
MANAGING DIRECTOR - UNDERGLASS BOMBAY LTD & UNDERGLASS KARAKA LTD

Lex has more than 30 years experience in logistics and sales. His key responsibilities are in glasshouse production and HR.

Paul Butler
MANAGING DIRECTOR – KPH TRANSPORT LTD

Paul's background is in management & financial services. His focus is upon growth strategies for KPH Transport, and the implementation of company wide performance measurement.

Graeme Wharfe
DIRECTOR / OPERATIONS - UNDERGLASS BOMBAY LTD & UNDERGLASS KARAKA LTD

Graeme brings more than 40 years of farming, commercial growing and operational experience to the group.

Ron Baas
GROUP FINANCIAL CONTROLLER B.Hort.Sc, BBS, CA

Ron has more than 25 years in the produce industry with specialist fields of post harvest handling and finance.

Mark Webber
NATIONAL SALES MANAGER

Mark has more than 20 year’s industry experience in both New Zealand and Australia. He joined the group in 2004 and became National Sales Manager in 2009.

Bevan Thorby
PACKHOUSE MANAGER

Bevan joined the group more than 20 years ago. He runs the Packhouse and Warehousing for the company.

Our team in action