Aongatete Coolstores Limited was founded in 1983 by Allan Dawson and Roger Stiles. Their first step was to secure the site of the old Aongatete Railway Station alongside State Highway 2, Katikati, and to purchase this land from New Zealand Railways. The next stage of the development was the construction of a 150,000 tray coolstore and attached pre-cooler.
Following the first successful year, a packhouse was built and Aongatete packed kiwifruit, as well as trucking fruit in from other facilities for coolstorage. Almost every year since there has been development or expansion of some kind.
From the late 1980's, Aongatete started to lease and manage orchards, and has been proactive in securing chemicals for Growers at competitive prices, gaining Aongatete a reputation for being both progressive and innovative.
In 1994, Aongatete began packing avocados, and developed a range of specialised techniques for the cultivation and packing of avocados. Aongatete stopped packing avocados in 2006, allowing the company to once again focus on kiwifruit.
Today, Aongatete continues to grow as a specialised, independently owned kiwifruit company that provides innovative horticultural products and solutions to its clients. Allan Dawson continues to lead the company as Managing Director and Chairman, joined by Michael Smith and Nell Dawson as Directors and Rob Lee as Advisor to the Aongatete Board.
New Coolstore 2015
The development of Aongatete Coolstores. Featured above (L-R) : Aongatete during its construction (1983); New grading equipment (2007); New CA rooms (2008); and our automatic strapping machine (2009).