Newsletter # 13 2018

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In this issue

  • New NZPPI team member
  • Biosecurity scheme feedback
  • 1 Billion Trees
  • Myrtle Rust update
  • Myrtle Rust research survey
  • Plant Trolley scheme
  • Board visit to Canterbury

New team member - communications and media

NZPPI and Gardening NZ welcome our new communications manager, Karen Coltman, who joined the team at the Wellington office this week.

Karen brings extensive experience in government relations having worked for a previous prime minister and minister directly and in several government departments since 2004. Karen has just completed two years with the New Zealand Nurses Organisation as their media adviser taking them successfully through the media’s intense focus on the nurses’ dispute and strike. This work also involved government liaison.

Her experience gaining widespread media coverage on diverse issues will be of great value to NZPPI members. In addition, she was a senior communications adviser at the Ministry for the Environment for four years, so many of the issues we touch on are not unfamiliar to her.

To cap it off she has a small life style block in the Wairarapa and has her head firmly in planting/gardening mode.

Biosecurity scheme workshops - what you told us

The top themes that emerged from the PPBS June/July consultation were:

  1. Strong support for the objectives – protecting industry, producers, their customers and the environment
  2. It must benefit producers and result in less ‘red tape’
  3. Strong need for MPI recognition and support
  4. Need to engage all plant producers in the standard/registration.

Thank you to all those (around 120) who gave their time to demonstrate their interest in the scheme and commitment to the industry.

NZPPI has strong support for its work to improve industry biosecurity risk management and preparedness, and work to prevent producers and industry being beset by a biosecurity event.

Your feedback also provided strong leads on how to improve the draft proposals and helped identify some of the gaps and new opportunities in our work to date.

A summary of the feedback - and what we’ve done, or will do, in response - can be downloaded here

Work is underway on the scheme design and associated standards. This work includes developing a pilot programme among nurseries to field test the proposed scheme as it evolves.

We’re still open to feedback on design issues – please contact us with your ideas and feedback to: (

One Billion Trees back in the news

NZPPI has its eye firmly on this project and is pursuing a further meeting with MPI and Forestry New Zealand to bring it back to ‘front of mind’ for our members.



Good news came from Forestry Minister Shane Jones last week in the announcement that the programme will receive a $240 million boost. And suggestion is strong that as many as two-thirds of the trees planted via this boost will be natives.

“The new grants scheme will provide simple and accessible direct funding to landowners for the cost of planting and establishing trees and regenerating indigenous forest. Private landowners, government agencies, NGOs and iwi will all be able to apply,” he said.

“These grants will be available from later this year and we’re aiming to encourage the planting of natives, trees for erosion control, and environmentally-focused planting – all ensuring we have the right tree in the right place for the right purpose.

“These grants will see an additional 60 million new trees in the ground over the next three years.”

The Government has stated that the new grants are intended for land owners to encourage them to plant native species. This will likely flow through to nurseries as an increase in the demand for native trees. The Government has not announced any new direct subsidies for plant nurseries.

Myrtle Rust situation

With spring well and truly here, it is unfortunately also the beginning of the myrtle rust season. The disease has continued to spread slowly during winter but is expected to accelerate as temperatures warm up over the coming weeks.

There is a lot happening in the management of myrtle rust & NZPPI will provide updates on the spread of the disease and the work that is under way on the long-term management.

Here is a brief situation update:

  1. Myrtle rust is now well established in the north eastern part of New Zealand and in the Nelson region. The disease has not been recorded in the eastern North island, or south of Nelson.
  2. MPI has reduced its on-the-ground activities and is only surveying in areas where myrtle rust has not become established.
  3. Organism management (removing plants and trees) is being considered on a case-by-case basis and only in areas where myrtle rust has not become established.

Scion research for the battle against Myrtle Rust

One of Scion’s myrtle rust research projects includes understanding the nursery industry’s use of fungicides in the battle against myrtle rust.

To inform their research they need your help and have requested NZPPI ask its members to respond to their short (10 questions) myrtle rust treatment survey. Please go the link here to complete the survey.

Plant Trolley scheme's new tracking system

The ability to keep track of plant trolleys is about to get a whole lot easier with the introduction of an electronic tracking system.

The system will enable individual trolleys to be scanned when they arrive or leave a location.

NZPPI has been trialling the system on a small number of trolleys over the past few weeks and is now preparing to implement the system across the entire trolley fleet.

The system includes an RFID tag that is attached to the trolley base. This tag can be scanned by the truck driver or by the nursery as trolleys arrive at a site, capturing the time and location of the drop off into a database system.

NZPPI has partnered with Dataphyll Ltd, a technology company that specialises in tracking horticulture products through the supply chain. This smart technology has been adapted for use on plant trolleys.

Work to attach the RFID tags will begin in September and it is expected that the majority of the trolley fleet will be tagged by the end of the year.

Board visit to Canterbury

On Wednesday 12 September NZPPI board members are visiting some member sites prior to holding its scheduled board meeting the following day.

On the evening of the 12th members are invited to a social gathering and dinner at the Carlton Hotel, Christchurch. This is hosted by NZPPI and the NZPPI Canterbury District Council.

We hope you can come if you are a local NZPPI member and, we invite you to consider coming along if you are in the area at the time.

Save the date, 12th September, and if you would like to come please email:

And we are pleased to announce Egmont Commerical as event sponsors.

Like us on Facebook

Like the NZPPI Facebook page to read latest industry news and stories of interest. Also check out the Go Gardening and Greenlife Matters Facebook pages.


©2018 NZPPI
New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated
PO Box 3443, Wellington 6140
Level 5, 23 Waring Taylor Street, Wellington
P: 04 918 3511 | F: 04 499 9589
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