History of the Bledisloe Cup

18 May 2015

Andrew Fenton with Bledisloe Cup Winner 2012, Con van der Voort

The Bledisloe Cup is the New Zealand horticulture industry’s premier award. First presented in 1931 by the Governor General, Lord Bledisloe, for a competition between orchardists at the Imperial Fruit Show for the best exhibit of New Zealand apples. 

  • The first winner of the cup was H. E. Stephens of Stoke.
  • It is one of several cups Lord Bledisloe presented to New Zealand, and is very similar to the famous rugby Bledisloe Cup (also donated in 1931).
  • Lord Bledisloe had an affinity with agriculture throughout his career and in his private life as a vegetable grower and orchardist. He held numerous agriculture related posts in England, including parliamentary secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
  • The Cup is Sterling silver, made in London in 1928. 
  • In the late 1970s the New Zealand Fruitgrowers Federation decided to award the Cup for outstanding contributions to the industry.
  • In 2006 the NZFF passed the cup to Horticulture New Zealand to be presented to both fruit and vegetable growers, when the NZFF and Vegfed merged to become HortNZ in 2005.
  • Russell Jordan of Taranaki was the first vegetable grower to be presented with the Cup, in 2007.

For more information on all of HortNZ's awards, click here.