Newsletter 24 April 2019

Read online

In this issue

  • Conference 2019
  • Young Achiever finalists
  • Nursery capability project
  • Vocational education review
  • Biosecurity incursion update
  • Biosecurity scheme update
  • Prunus IHS Review
  • PVR review

Conference 2019 - our best yet!

Registrations are coming in fast for NZPPI’s innovation conference, 15th & 16th May in Christchurch.

This year’s event offers two days of inspiring demonstrations, presentations, forums and discussions - all about increasing productivity and profitability with use of innovative technology and better, smarter processes.

You will hear first-hand from innovators at the cutting end. Our speakers cover the field from robotics and CRISPR to the latest in smart technology and nursery equipment and modern management systems.

Industry leaders will illustrate the massive impact horticulture is having on the primary sector and how plant producers are at the epicentre of this change. Awareness of the importance of our sector is rapidly growing.

There are forums for discussion and debate about current issues and plenty of opportunity for some fun. The NZPPI conference brings our sector together for valuable conversation with friends and colleagues. We encourage you to enjoy your time here and to engage in everything on offer including the NZPPI sessions on day two.

Check out the Conference Programme. You can register via the NZPPI Conference webpage or Register NOW here. Early Bird closes 1 May.

Young Achiever Award 2019

For three fantastic young nurserymen, this is the year that will change their lives as they compete in the Young Achiever competition during conference in Christchurch.

Ezra Alexander (Nga Raku Nurseries), Rico Mannall (Southern Woods Nursery) and Jacob Rados (DOC Native Nursery) will be going head to head during a day of practical activities on Tuesday 14th May at the Sudima Hotel.

They will each speak at the conference Gala Dinner, Wednesday 15 May, and the 2019 Young Achiever will be announced that night.

We encourage you to give them your full support by being there, during the Tuesday competition and at the Gala Dinner. You can register to attend Conference and book your seat at the dinner here.

Read more about Ezra, Rico and Jacob here.

L to R: Ezra Alexander, Rico Mannall, Jacob Rados

The nursery industry has a strong history of success at the national Young Horticulturist of the Year competition, consistently taking out the top places against other much larger horticulture sectors, proving that our sector has the best and brightest!!

A huge thank you to Horticentre Trust and HortFert Plus for their continued sponsorship and support of the Young Achiever Award.

Nursery capability project takes off

NZPPI has secured funding from the provincial growth fund to develop a national strategy for native tree nurseries.

The Native Tree Nursery Capability Programme will include a survey of nurseries in the revegetation sector, looking at the opportunities that will come from the anticipated increase in demand for native seedlings, as well as the risks and barriers to growth.

We want to survey as many plant producers as we can to find out what the issues are and use these insights to develop an action plan. This project will identify initiatives to enable a step-change in the sector, including:

  • work force and skills
  • science and innovation
  • seedling production
  • standards and procurement

The project will begin in May and is expected to be completed in August.

NZPPI submission on the Review of Vocational Education (RoVE)

NZPPI’s submission on the government’s proposal to change the structure of industry training highlights the urgent need for a change.

The changes proposed would shift responsibility for the development and management of industry training from Industry Training Organisations (e.g the Primary ITO) to a (large) single New Zealand Polytechnic. ITO’s would cease developing training programmes and become responsible for arranging training with individual businesses.

This would be a fundamental change in the way that industry training is managed in New Zealand, including the role of ITO’s.

The key points of our submission are:

  • NZPPI supports the review of vocational education
  • highlighting the current issues with industry training in our sector
  • requesting the new framework has greater involvement of industry
  • the system needs to be user friendly for small / medium businesses in the regions
  • there is a need for greater regional and sector reach.

Read our full submission here.

Biosecurity incursions update

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Great news on the BMSB front. Intensive surveillance trapping in Tauranga and Glenfield is now complete and there have been no new finds. MPI has ended its incursion activities in these areas.

Granulate Ambrosia Beetle

The Ministry for Primary Industries are still investigating options to manage an incursion of granulate ambrosia beetle (Xylosandrus crassiusculus) in and around Auckland.

Granulate Ambrosia Beetle sign

Five populations of the wood-boring beetles have been found since 20 February in exotic and native trees in Blockhouse Bay, Kumeu, Huapai, Riverhead, and Titirangi.

It is not yet clear whether the beetle is causing tree dieback or whether they are attacking trees that are already weakened. MPI hope to answer this question over the coming winter months and this will help determine their next course of action, either to eradicate, or manage the pest.

Although Ambrosia Beetle is not a direct nursery pest, several nurseries have been visited by MPI during this incursion. NZPPI is working closely with MPI and industry as this incursion work progresses.

Fruit Flies

Since our last update, there have been no changes to the Auckland fruit fly response, and no further flies have been found.

Monitoring of surveillance traps continues in Northcote and Devonport and the last controls on the movement of fruit and vegetables were lifted on 12 April. The 3.2km Export Restriction Zone remains in place for host material exported to sensitive overseas markets.

Another species – the Facialis fruit fly – was detected in traps in Otāra between February and March. No further finds have been made and controls have been lifted. A 5.5km Export Restriction Zone remains in place for Otāra.

Biosecurity scheme – pilot audits underway

Development of the Plant Production Biosecurity scheme (PPBS) has taken another positive step forward with nineteen nurseries undergoing pilot audits against the draft standard.

The pilot nurseries cover a wide spectrum of nursery types, size, species, markets and supply chains, production methods and include community and iwi/hapū based nurseries. This is part of our commitment to ensure that the standard is relevant to all nurseries.

Early feedback from the pilot audits has been positive. The participating nurseries are enthusiastic about the process and are providing strong insight into things we can improve in the scheme.

We anticipate the full launch of the PPBS programme to all of industry later this year.

Other current PPBS work includes the development of best practice and guidance, comms and stakeholder engagement, a module for Phytophthora and Kauri Dieback, a plant buyer’s accord, traceability, scheme operations and infrastructure development, and regulatory options.

We would like to acknowledge and thank the nurseries that are participating in the pilot audits:

Auckland Botanic Gardens, Ardmore Nurseries, Black Bridge Nurseries, Growing Spectrum, Kaipatiki, LE Cook Nurseryman Ltd, Lyndale Nurseries, Minginui Nursery, Miro Nursery, Murray's Nurseries, Nga Rakau Nurseries, Ngati Haua Mahi Trust, Okahu Rakau (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei), Pukerau Nursery, Riversun Nursery, Scott Base, Nurseries, Te Rito, Treeline Native Nursery, Zealandia Horticulture

If you’d like to know more, talk with project lead John Liddle, 021 370 168,

L to R: Diane and Debbie from Treeline Native Nursery with Diane of Asure Quality

Kara Beaumont, from Ardmore Nurseries, said: "Vol, our auditor, was very practical in her approach and was able to suggest simple approaches that would cover off a few risks or areas at the same time.

“We were harder on ourselves in our self-assessment than she was on us on the day. There were some areas where we weren't confident that we met the requirements of the Core Standard, but Vol helped us think more laterally and realise that either we were meeting the requirements in a less obvious way, or that we could do so through some minor changes that are consistent with our current processes.

“It would be impossible to write the Core Standard in a way that every nursery can see how it fits into their processes immediately. The auditors are a useful bridge between the Standard and the management systems of each individual nursery."

Prunus IHS Review update

MPI are progressing their review of the import health standard for Prunus nursery stock (cherry, plum, apricot, peach, nectarine). This is an important standard for the plant production sector because Prunus grafting material is the most common type of nursery stock imported from overseas high-health programmes.

NZPPI has been involved in this work from the start and we are generally happy with the approach taken and progress that has been made. See our website for information about some of the changes that are bring proposed. Public consultation is planned for May –July and NZPPI will prepare a submission on behalf of members on the proposed new standard.

PVR review is all about perspective

After years of delays, work is finally progressing on the review of NZ’s Plant Variety Rights laws. The PVR review has significant implications for our sector, so NZPPI is very much involved in the process.

Read Matt Dolan’s opinion piece on the PVR review here.


©2019 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
E: | W:





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