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Business opportunities in Gisborne

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Business opportunities in Gisborne

Agriculture has been the most important industry in the Gisborne district since earliest settlement. However, agriculture has diversified over the years and now forestry, viticulture, horticulture and industries such as food processing are becoming increasingly important.

Gisborne-based enterprises have shown innovation and excellence in a variety of areas including cheese, beer, wine, cider, meat, popcorn, truffles, hosiery, surfboard production, cashmere fibre production, honey, organic farming and oil extraction for perfume and health products from the native Manuka tree.

Key industry sectors


Horticulture is a strong sector in the region. Some businesses have major shares of the New Zealand market and overseas. New investment by existing businesses is already occurring and substantial opportunities for expansion have been identified.

Our highly fertile alluvial soils, long sunshine hours and moderate rainfall all contribute to a strong horticultural sector.

Cereal crop

Processing and manufacturing.  Local companies specialise in the production and supply of maize and corn hybrids and the milling of grain for food manufacturers. Popcorn is a speciality.


The leading rural sector industry. Innovative processing facilities have added value to the meat and wool industries.

Forestry and wood processing

The combination of forest plantation capability and current wood-using industry activity, existing and projected markets and return on investment has translated to commercial opportunity for wood processing. Currently log exports to various overseas markets are averaging in excess of 100,000 and are expected to double over the next 10 years.


Gisborne is one of the 4 main grape growing areas in New Zealand. The district with 1,724 hectares supports 90 local growers, 20 wineries, a large wine bottling plant, an internationally recognised wine and viticulture course at the EIT Polytechnic and one of New Zealand leading wine nurseries. The Gisborne area is known as the 'Chardonnay Capital' of New Zealand. The Wines of Gisborne Visitor Centre, centrally located in Gisborne’s inner harbour is open 7 day a week for wine tasting and winery cellar door tour service.

Fisheries and aquaculture

Gisborne is the hub for several fishing and marine businesses servicing New Zealand and overseas markets.


Tourism is a relatively undeveloped sector with considerable potential.

Printing and publishing

Gisborne has a wealth of high technology printing and design companies with one company recognised internationally for its label products.

Professional services

Gisborne is well serviced by professionals providing accounting, legal, financial planning, engineering and other services.