Hemp is a sustainable building material with wide potential and a number of benefits

Hemp is:

  • a renewable resource that sequesters carbon dioxide
  • breathable
  • self-regulating temperature and humidity
  • bio-degradable  

Venture Taranaki held an event for the construction industry highlighting the role the material could play as we move towards a more sustainable future. There was significant focus on the development of value-added products and how the existing knowledge and expertise in Taranaki could leverage this opportunity.

At the event, construction industry players, architects, and property developers heard from experts who expanded on the benefits of using hemp fibre as a carbon-neutral building material, the practicalities and challenges, the opportunity for value-added construction products, what is needed to enable a Taranaki hemp fibre industry and how interested parties can get involved. You can find the contact details for the speakers and their presentations below.

After the Branching Out hemp event, a new pātaka kai was built as part of a hempcrete demonstration at the Marfell Community Garden. The new hemp pātaka kai replaces an existing kai cupboard that is used to store produce grown in the garden as well as food donations.

Venture Taranaki's Branching Out project seeks to strengthen Taranaki's future as an emerging food basket of New Zealand.

This project encourages the region to consider diverse and complementary forms of land use, investment in innovative enterprises, and delivery of consumer-focused products to market. This projects success will result in added wealth to Taranaki’s economy and help our existing food and fibre sector become more resilient, innovative and in-demand.

Jo Say

is a property developer and  founder of the Hemp Building Association of New Zealand. She is also in the process of establishing New Zealand’s first hempcrete village on her land in central Nelson.

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Dave Jordan

is CEO of Hemp NZ and brand HempFarm NZ Ltd.

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Matt Low

is a Civil Engineer and hemp house owner. He was first introduced to hemp as a building material when he and his wife started out building their home back in 2013 in Taranaki. This became one of the first group of consented hemp houses in New Zealand.

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Joel Van Riel & Lochlan Urquhart

founded Erkhart Construction in Wānaka in 2014. The company has a strong focus on sustainability and energy efficiency, particularly specialising in hempcrete builds.

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Richard Barge

is a passionate advocate for the emerging hemp industry and the role it will have in the future global economy. He is currently the Chairperson of the NZ Hemp Industries Association Incorporated. He is also a certified chartered accountant.

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Land Use Register 

The Branching Out project is looking to connect with landowners, and investors who may be considering complementary and / diverse uses for their land. By adding your details to this register we can: 

  • Link you with other like-minded landowners or producers based on geographical location, growing conditions or opportunity.
  • Understand the amount of land potentially available across our region. 
  • Invite growing groups (like Zespri) to the region to promote growing opportunities in new sectors.
  • Recommend or share relevant information that may assist you on your journey.
  • Keep you in the loop to present opportunities to diversify into other, complementary land uses based on geographical location or land suitability.  
  • Understand the regional potential for specific opportunities.

Contact our Branching Out project lead

  • Michelle Bauer
Contact Michelle