NZ$55 Tongan watermelon spotted at Auckland dairies

Watermelons from Tonga are now ready at some dairies in Auckland with Tongan customers quipping about buying them only because they wanted to help the growers but the prices were too high.

Tongan watermelons sold at Central Fruit Shop, Massey Rd, Māngere. Photo/Kaniva Tonga

The eye-watering price of NZ$55 melons with some at NZ$40s were being sold at the Central Fruit Shop at Massey Rd in Māngere.

It was the same size which was sold in Tonga for around TOP$15 each. Last week some watermelons were sold at $10 a 60L plastic bag in the kingdom.

Meanwhile, food costs have risen strongly on the back of a seasonal surge in fruit and vegetable prices in New Zealand.

“Notable rises were for tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, broccoli, and capsicums, which peaked at a record $24.16 a kilo”, Newshub reported in July.

The arrivals of the watermelons in Auckland came after New Zealand authority  issued Tongan exporters a temporary approval permit, allowing them to send watermelons to the country under special conditions in December.

The issuance provisionally lifted the suspension of such produce which came after the discovery of live fruit fly at the New Zealand border in a shipment of Tongan watermelons in October 2020.

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