The only view of tea fields in New Zealand can now be viewed from an $8 million building.
Zealong Estate, New Zealand's only commercial tea-growing operation, opened its visitor centre and production plant, named Vista, in Hamilton's Gordonton on Thursday.
And Prime Minister John Key was there to open it.
"I don't know if I'm cutting a ribbon, unveiling a plaque, or drinking a cup of tea," Key said, "but I'm happy to do all three."
It was a plaque he had to unveil, and tea was in the offing, too.
The idea for the company came to owner Vincent Chen when he spotted a camellia plant growing in the Waikato in 1996.
Chen realised if other camellias could grow here, so could tea camellias.
Key used the opportunity to endorse Zealong as a positive image for foreign investment.
"There're always people, both in Parliament and in the media, who will talk about foreign investment as if it's negative."
However, Zealong's exponential growth is nod for the positive aspects of foreign investment, he said.
The tea company is now focused on exporting its goods.
"We are never going to get rich selling to 4.7million New Zealanders," Key said.
When thinking about a global audience, the most important offering Zealong has is its story, Key said.
Other companies compete on price and distribution, but no others could compete with the story - which is what consumers are buying.
Key described the building as spectacular, something that would fit comfortably on Paris's Champs Elysee.
And that could be because Zealong's French retail manager, Olivia Cessac, had a hand in designing it.
She was part of the team designing the interior, because she had been with the company for six years and knew what was wanted.
"It's important that we design something right for the company and not rely on others to know what's good for us."
Image source: Mark Taylor/Fairfax NZ