About Us

 Hawkes Bay Seafoods is a vertically integrated seafood company. By that we mean, Hawkes Bay Seafoods are quota holders, vessel operators, fish exporters and importers, seafood processors, wholesalers and retailers.

Hawkes Bay Seafoods is a privately owned seafood company and its main areas of activity consist of fishing, processing – export and wholesale distribution and retailing through an on-site Napier outlet and a world class outlet in Hastings. Hawkes Bay Seafoods is also a large employer within the Hawkes Bay region, employing a combination of full time, part time and seasonal workers.

The entire operation is based on a site which has close proximity to the wharf, about 300 or 400 metres in fact. On that site is a retail premises, a licensed seafood export packhouse; freezing, chilling and processing rooms; live crayfish storage and administration offices and amenities.

Nino and Joe D'sposito seen here with the  Prime Minister, John Key after a visit to the Napier Export Plant

Hawkes Bay Seafoods was established in June 1997, nineteen years ago, when D’Esposito brothers, Nino and Joe identified the potential of a strategically located fish and chip shop. The site also offered room for expansion and the fishing port was extremely close. Furthermore, the current retail business had potential for growth, with little or no competition and little inspiration or incentive to the fishing fleet. Within five years the turnover increased approximatley 6000 percent. In 2007, Hawkes Bay Seafoods won the ANZ, Hawkes Bay Today, Exporter of the year. 

Hawkes Bay Seafoods' Retail Outlet in Hastings 

 Inside the Hastings Shop

The growth of the company was then helped by an accommodating export exchange rate and a recently developed Tuna fishery right on the doorstep of the company. Ultimately however, it was the expertise, knowledge and experience of the D’Esposito brothers in harvesting, processing and marketing inshore species which has resulted in a reputation for supplying consistently high quality, premium fresh seafood. By expertise, knowledge and experience we mean a family tradition that traces back to 1918 when Nino and Joe's Grandfather started fishing in the Cook Strait after he migrated to New Zealand from Italy. Son and nephew Marcus is now continuing the tradition as fourth generation to ensure that expertise, knowledge and experience are guaranteed in the future.

Nino started working in fishing industry fulltime at the age of fifteen. Joe later joined Nino at eighteen years of age in 1979.

Live Crayfish Tanks at Hawkes Bay Seafoods

Napier Export Plant

Nino with Danielle Skipper Jason Lee and a 440kg Pacific Northern Blue Fin Tuna headed for Japan

  Local Iwi

As part of our commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi and the Quota Management Act (1986) and in recognition of the relationship of tangata whenua with this area and their longstanding fishing tradition, Hawkes Bay Seafoods has a formal working relationship with Ngati Kahungunu and a informal relationship with many other iwi throughout Aotearoa.

Hawkes Bay Seafoods, regularly leases a large parcel of quota from  Ngati Kahunugu and in return ensures employment and industry based training for up to 80 members of the local tribe, whether it be land based or at sea. Employment opportunities and training cover most aspects of the fishing industry, including administrative, retail, fishing and work in our export factory environment which ranges from filleting to packing to NZFSA compliance supervisory roles etc.

Kahungunu have recently ventured into mussel farming and several other excellent seafood based projects. Hawkes Bay Seafoods have pledged to help with there large pool of industry resources to assist in any way possible with these exciting local ventures.

*Picture, Three Flags flying representing the family's heritage (Italian) there Country (NZ) and the local Iwi (Ngati Kahugunu)

Hawkes Bay Seafoods also contributes seafood koha for local tangis and runanga conferences, meetings etc.

Nino, Joe, Marcus and the team at Hawkes Bay Seafoods are very happy to have this excellent working relationship with local Iwi and will endeavour to continue building on the solid base developed over the last 10 years.


 Directors, Nino and Joe D'Esposito and Ngahiwi Tomoana  (Kahugunu Chairman) are seen here with the Prime Minister, John Key after a visit to the Napier Export Plant.