The ‘Kiwi fruit capital of the world’ struggles with slogans

The New Zealand Herald reports about a branding battle that has erupted in Te Puke in a bid to restore the town’s old slogan of “Kiwifruit Capital of the World”. Fears that the area’s “Goodness Grows Here” brand was being promoted at the expense of “kiwifruit capital” has sparked a petition.

Creative Te Puke Forum secretary Audrey Baldwin said “Goodness Grows Here” could apply to lots of places in New Zealand. “We want to keep our icon of a kiwifruit.” The threat from “Goodness Grows Here” was revealed after the forum launched a competition to design a sculpture that would greet visitors as they drove into Te Puke. When the winning kiwifruit design by Chris Pointon was pitched to the Western Bay District Council, the council told her to put it on hold because there was a question around whether Te Puke was more than just about kiwifruit. Community feedback on the council’s 10-year plan included some people wanting more emphasis put on Te Puke being the kiwifruit capital. Mrs Baldwin said they did not want “kiwifruit capital” to disappear and be taken over by a “rather fuzzy sort of brand”. “People want to sign the petition, they almost snatch it out of my hands. They did not realise it would disappear.” Hundreds of signatures had been gathered since she dropped off petition boards in shops and Carter House rest home on Friday. The deadline was the end of this month, when the Te Puke community review would be discussed and the brand decided, she said. Asked why the forum was only taking action now, three years after the arrival of the “goodness” brand, she said they had not realised that “kiwifruit capital” was being replaced. The wording of the petition was: “I vote for Te Puke to retain its title as Kiwifruit Capital of the World, with Goodness Grows Here a subtitle.” Mark Boyle of the Te Puke Economic Development Group said they were sticking steadfastly to “Goodness Grows Here” because it branded the whole community, including the town. “We are promoting the goodness that we grow, rather than focusing just on kiwifruit.” He said the brand had widespread support, including businesses, schools and the council. “This is what we believe tells our story.”Quizzed on whether “kiwifruit capital” could sit beside the “goodness” brand, Mr Boyle replied: “Not really, it just confuses people. I don’t see them sitting alongside one another.”
Mr Boyle said the “goodness” brand had too much support to unwind what they had done or hang bits off it.