New Year's Honours, PVR law reform technical workshops, brown marmorated stink bug, health & safety tools, home carden pest & gisease management, tissue culture import health standard review, Australian nursery production tools ...

View newsletter online

  31 January 2017
New Year’s Honours


Congratulations to Geoff Thorpe (ONZM)


Our congratulations to Riversun Nursery owner, Geoff Thorpe, who was made an Officer of The New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in the 2017 New Year Honours list. Geoff’s award is for services to the wine industry, and the exceptional contributions he’s made to that industry as a plant producer.


The Riversun Story and Geoff’s journey to grow Riversun to the success it is today were covered in the NZPPI Prospectus - so if you haven’t yet had a chance to read this please do!


The official citation that accompanies Geoff’s award is as follows:


Having visited grapevine nurseries, universities and plant breeders around the world throughout the preceding decade Mr Thorpe decided in 1998 to focus Riversun’s production solely on the New Zealand viticulture industry. In 1999 he established Linnaeus Laboratory to provide the vine nursery industry with an accredited virus testing service. In 2000 Riversun launched New Zealand’s first independently audited grapevine certification programme and in 2002 signed up licensee agreements with several offshore grapevine breeding organisations. In 2003 he opened New Zealand’s first privately operated grapevine quarantine facility and over the next seven years facilitated the introduction of more than 120 new varieties and clones to the wine industry. In 2006 he played an instrumental role in co-establishing the New Zealand Winegrowers Grafted Grapevine Standard, adopted by all grapevine nurseries by 2012. Since 1995 his company has been a major sponsor of the wine industries annual Romeo Bragato Conference. Most recently Mr Thorpe has helped bring together New Zealand Winegrowers, New Zealand Viticulture Nursery Association and other industry players to establish an internationally recognised research project designed to allow the vine nursery industry to optimise the microbial health status of certified grafted grapevines.”

It’s great to see one of our own and a person so deserving recognised!

One of Geoff’s more recent contributions is to the formation of NZPPI, including his roles as a member of the Plant Producer Working Group and as an elected director on, and vice-chair of, the NZPPI Board.

Certainly, there are others also deserving of such recognition within our industry, and growing that recognition of the contribution our industry makes to New Zealand and the people that contribute within our industry is something Geoff’s passionate about, and NZPPI is committed to.

Congratulations to Terry Hatch (ONZM)

Terry Hatch is a horticulturalist, plant breeder and conservationist extraordinaire – readily evident in past recognition from the International Plant Propagator’s Society both regionally and internationally, culminating in a 2016 IPPS International Award of Honour.

Terry, of Joy Plants, is now an Officer of The New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in the 2017 New Year Honours list further recognising his exemplary services to horticulture, and clearly set out in the award’s citation:

Mr Hatch is highly esteemed in New Zealand for his almost 50 years of dedication to the breeding of rare New Zealand plants, island reforestation, and the promotion of horticulture through his writing and speaking engagements. He won a Supreme Award for Horticultural Excellence at the Ellerslie Flower Show. He has been an active member of the Friends of the Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens for more than 20 years, was President from 2001 to 2003, and became a life member in 2007. He was a founding member of the International Plant Propagators' Society, New Zealand Region, becoming President in 2007 and serving as International President of the Society. He raised more than 150,000 plants for the re-vegetation of Mercury Island. His nursery, Joy Plants, near Auckland, has been highly regarded among horticulturalists for more than 30 years. Mr Hatch is a specialist in growing bulbs in New Zealand and co-authored ‘Bulbs for New Zealand Gardeners and Collectors’ (1994), which is still regarded as the definitive text in this field.”

PVR reform and MBIE meeting

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is beginning its review of the Plant Varieties Rights Act 1987.  To initiate the review, MBIE is holding some targeted, technical workshops with industry experts in plant variety rights in the first quarter of 2017 and several industry members have been invited to attend.

The targeted, technical workshops with industry form part of stage one of a two-stage engagement process. The purpose of these workshops is to discuss the issues and options for reform of the Plant Variety Rights Act.  The workshops will inform the development of proposals for stage two of the process which is the formal, public consultation (the timing of stage two is yet to be determined).

MBIE will also be holding technical workshops with Maori/iwi.

The first industry workshop will be held on 1 March 2017 in Wellington and if you’ve an issue that needs to be considered at this early stage, please contact NZPPI -

Brown marmorated stink bug

Not wanted under any circumstances


The brown marmorated stink bug (BSMB) poses a threat to a broad range of horticulture crops – many veggies, fruits, ornamentals and some forestry species included. It’s also a public nuisance, overwintering in sheds and homes. We don’t want it, and MPI works hard to keep it out.


September to April is the high-risk period for the bug, as this is when it starts aggregating in dark sheltered places in the northern hemisphere, which includes cargo and personal goods destined for New Zealand.


GIA partners have been working to develop an Operational Agreement to ensure we are doing everything we can to stop BMSB establishing in NZ.


Potentially impacted industry members (including NZPPI and several other non-GIA members) met late in January to consider progress and a possible approach to cost sharing between MPI and industry. A smaller Working Group was appointed to consider options further.


This pest is NOT present in New Zealand.
Keep your eyes open and if you find one – catch it, photograph it and call MPI’s Exotic Pests and Diseases hotline on 0800 80 99 66.

H&S risks: Identify yours with a new tool

Worksafe are building their collection of tools to assist businesses develop their workplace health and safety programmes. A recent addition is a tool that features 13 businesses. While a nursery or garden retailer is not one of the businesses featured, the tools nevertheless will provide industry members with an insight to risk hotspots – check it out, Around The Block — WorkSafe’s look at what can affect safety in town.

It’s part of WorkSafe’s Toolshed — which has a page on “farm risks” (a little closer to our neck of the woods) and other highly relevant guidance.

NZPPI Member Workplace Health and Safety Guide

And in December, NZPPI released its Guide that assists members develop or refine their Workplace Health and Safety policies and procedures. It’s a wireframe of a complete system with a series of questions to help businesses as they work through their system.

And it’s not just for those who have yet to complete their system. The guide, which was developed in collaboration with OSHbox, will assist those more advanced in their implementation of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

The Guide joins NZPPI’s EMA membership deal as part of a revamped member-exclusive benefits package – contact Frances Palmer for more details (

New Book - Garden Pest & Disease Control

The home garden pest and disease toolbox has become lighter in recent years with many chemical options withdrawn from the market owing to concerns over user and public safety. Long-time industry member, Bill Brett, has brought his expertise to bear providing solutions for the home gardener by focusing on 'integrated control' using all the tools available. All those working with the public in this area will find this book invaluable.


... read more

Coming Up
  • The Primary ITO's Nursery Production Industry Partnership Group meets 15 February – if you’ve a training matter that needs work, contact NZPPI ( or an IPG member.
  • GERMAC meets 21 February – if you’ve a plant import issue, contact NZPPI -
  • PMAC meets 28 February – if you’ve a plant export issue, contact Paul Turner -

Review of the Import Health Standard for Tissue Culture

NZPPI and some importers will meet with MPI on 22 February to discuss the latter’s work in reviewing the tissue culture import health standard to better manage potential biosecurity risks associated with tissue culture. If you’ve an interest in importing tissue culture, please let NZPPI know -

Australian nursery industry knowledge base

A one-stop shop to help Australia’s nursery businesses meet industry best practice standards has been launched, providing online resources and access to e-learning opportunities. Much of the material is relevant to New Zealand plant producers and can be accessed at

Insects and pesticides webinar provides practical tips

The Australians also have a Youtube channel and guidance on pesticide use is a recent addition to its extensive video collection.

  • The latest in biocontrol in the Biocontrol Group's newsletter.
  • Updated Import Health Standard 155.02.05: Seeds for sowing with the import requirements for Cucurbitaceae seeds for sowing. Details here.
  • Lots to read about here -


©2017 NZPPI
New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated
(formery The Nursery & Garden Industry Association of New Zealand)
PO Box 3443, Wellington 6140
Level 5, 23 Waring Taylor Street, Wellington
P: 04 918 3511 | F: 04 499 9589
E: | W:





- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -