Newsletter 27 May 2019

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In this issue

  • Conference 2019 report
  • Andrew Harrison steps down
  • Rico Mannall Young Achiever 2019
  • Marie Taylor joins NZPPI Board
  • Retailer conference session
  • Gardening NZ launches strategy
  • Welcome to Kathryn Hurr
  • Plant importers meeting

Conference 2019 - our best yet!

Thanks to those of you who attended this years NZPPI innovation conference, "Making Business Modern”.

This was NZPPI’s biggest and best conference yet and feedback from the delegates was unanimous – it was a resounding success.

Minister Damien O'Connor delivered the opening address.

Over 130 attendees descended on the Tait Technology Park in Christchurch for 2 days of fast paced talks and demonstrations on the latest in technology and innovation in horticulture.

The programme included wide ranging topics, from the controversial aspects of gene editing to mind blowing robotics and demonstrations of smart sensors and apps that are on the cusp of fundamentally changing plant production

This year’s event had just the right balance of fun, entertainment and thought-provoking presentations.

Delegates observing the modern architecture of the Tait Centre during a tour.

Running a successful conference can only be achieved with funding from industry sponsors. Special thanks to all sponsors: Platinum sponsor Ellepot; Dinner sponsor TNZ Growing Products; Silver sponsors Scion, ICL, Norwood, Biosecurity New Zealand; and Ambrosia Nurseries, Egmont Commercial, Daltons, Egmont Seeds, Transflora, Southern Woods Nursery, Living Fashion, Jacson3 and Swazi.

Speaker presentations are available on the website.

Andrew Harrison steps down as NZPPI Chairman

After seven years of outstanding service, Andrew Harrison has stepped down as chair of NZPPI, with his significant contribution acknowledged at the NZPPI conference.

Andrew was appointed as Chair of NGINZ in 2012 and he was instrumental in the transformation of that organisation to the new plant producer industry body, NZPPI

Andrew reflects: “NZPPI was formed three years ago from an idea for a more unified industry, vibrant, respected for its contribution and professionalism, supporting our members, creating a positive environment for doing business. It was formed on the back of a strong groundswell of support.

The establishment of NZPPI represents one of the most comprehensive changes and transformations seen across the primary industries in the past decade. That sort of change takes time and NZPPI is on a journey and heading in the right direction.

I’m proud that recognition of the importance of plant producers is at an all-time high. This has been critical to achieving effective advocacy results for our members. As plant producers you drive the innovation that underpins all of our plant-based export sectors, are on the biosecurity front line and deliver solutions to many of the sustainability issues New Zealand faces.

After seven years in the chair role I’ve decided now is the opportune time for a change - with a new CE in place and with NZPPI heading in the right direction. NZPPI’s plant producer membership has increased by 28% since NZPPI was formed, associate membership is stable, and voluntary subscription revenue is ahead of target. This growth needs to continue to realise our collective vision for NZPPI and results for members. And it needs to be built on strengthened industry unity and connection with, and among, our members, which is a key focus for this next stage of the NZPPI journey."

The NZPPI Board thank Andrew for his outstanding service to the nursery industry, noting that his contribution cannot be overstated.

Interim Chair and Board member, Mike Simpson, thanked Andrew for his long-standing work and leadership as Chair of both NGINZ and NZPPI. “His hard work and dedication have been crucial to our success in establishing NZPPI," he said.

“Andrew has played an integral part in shaping NZPPI and has been influential in forging strong relationships within the nursery industry, with industry organisations and with government. The experience and knowledge that Andrew has brought to NZPPI has been instrumental in its success as a recognised and respected industry body.”

Mike Simpson now acts as interim Chair to ensure a seamless transition while the Board works through the process of appointing a new chairperson.

Rico Mannall wins Young Achiever 2019

Rico Mannall from Southern Woods Nursery was declared winner of the Young Achiever title for 2019 at the NZPPI conference in Christchurch.

Three finalists, Rico, Ezra Alexander from Nga Rakau Nursery Auckland and Jacob Rados from DOC Native Nursery Motukarara, competed against each other over two days in events including a range of practical activities, an interview, and a speech at the NZ Plant Producers’ gala dinner.

Rico, 28, is the Business Development and Marketing Manager at Southern Woods in Christchurch, with degrees in Commerce and Arts from the University of Canterbury.

Southern Woods general manager Gareth Mitchell said, “The whole team at Southern Woods are very proud of Rico for taking out the NZPPI Young Achievers Award for 2019. Rico is an incredible young individual and an integral part of the management team here at Southern Woods. His eye for detail and his passion for plants are traits he applies to everything he does.

But this isn’t his only achievement - Rico achieves a lot every day at Southern Woods and is a great role model for our young staff. With approximately one third of the Southern Woods team being under the age of 30, Rico’s success this year, along with Devin Westley’s Young Achiever Award in 2018, is a great motivation for our young team members to step up and have a crack at future awards.”

Special thanks must go to the sponsors, HortFertplus and Horticentre Trust, and the judges Helen van der Werff and Geoff Bryant of the Primary ITO, Geoff McMillan of Kiwiflora Nurseries and Adriana Barada of Ambrosia Nurseries, for their time and hard work in preparing for this award.

Rico will represent the nursery and garden industry in the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition in November, managed by the RNZIH Education Trust, where the Grand Final offers a prize pool of more than $35,000. And following this, Rico can enjoy his Young Achiever prize of a five-day trip to Melbourne, taking in a visit to the 2020 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.

Marie Taylor joins NZPPI Board

Marie Taylor has joined the NZPPI Board as the representative for the landscape, amenity and revegetation sector, replacing Grant Hayman who stood down from the board earlier in the year.

Marie is a well-known figure in the revegetation sector, as the owner of Plant Hawkes Bay, a native plant nursery in Napier. She has a significant amount of governance experience formerly as a member of the Te Mata Park Trust Board, Chair of the Hawkes Bay Botanical Group, President of Hawkes Bay Farm Forestry association and numerous other local boards and committees. Marie was also last year’s NZI Rural Woman NZ’s Business Awards supreme winner.

Please note: According to NZPPI’s rules casual board positions are appointed by the NZPPI Board members until the next AGM, which is in August 2019.

NZPPI conference retailer session hits the spot

Retailers have come a long way since a handful of them clustered around a small table at the Hamilton NZPPI Conference in 2017.

Fast forward to this year’s event, the room was full and the delegates commented that next time “we want more”.

Gayle Souter-Brown

Gayle Souter-Brown, a world renowned researcher, presented on the impact of green spaces to mental health and wellbeing.

Brian Merrick spoke on the dynamics of the Australian Garden Industry while Lisa Plato, of the award winning boutique agency Plato Design, gave us an excellent insight into strategic marketing. 3R, innovators in the space of product stewardship and sustainability, gave us an insight into how other industries are handling their waste issues.

Retail delegates also enjoyed the shared main conference sessions, with outstanding content on robotics and plant genetics inspiring innovation and underlining the bright future of our sector. There was a huge amount of interest in this year’s retail event and Gardening New Zealand is already planning to make retailer day a bigger event at next year’s NZPPI conference.

Gardening NZ launches retail sector strategy

As an industry sector focussed on the consumer gardener, the newly established Retail SIG (special interest group) met in February to develop a clear strategic direction. ‘Gardening New Zealand’ is the name chosen for the group, which now has representatives from all major retail members including Mitre10, Kings, Palmers, the Garden Independents Network (GIN), key independent retailers and industry leading suppliers. Strategic priorities were quickly clustered around three central pillars of sustainability, public wellbeing and the benefits of plants.

The work plan is now in place for the current financial year. Gardening New Zealand consumer engagement channels will focus on messages reinforcing our three pillars. This engagement will help ensure there is a clear and compelling voice for gardening that highlights the importance of integrating green life into modern lifestyles, environments and leisure activities. Member services are in the spotlight for innovation and future proofing focussed on a closer alignment with member needs and priorities

Welcome to Kathryn Hurr

We are delighted to welcome Kathryn Hurr to the NZPPI team as our new Biosecurity and Technical Manager. Kathryn comes to NZPPI with a wealth of experience and expertise having previously led MPI’s Plant Imports team and was Principle Advisor for the One Billion Trees programme.

Kathryn will be working on the Native Tree Nursery Capability Project, plant imports advocacy, and implementing the science and innovation strategy. Contact Kathryn on 04 918 3511 and

Plant Importers planning meeting

NZPPI is holding a meeting in Auckland on 14 June for members who are plant importers.

We want to hear from you about your issues with the plant import system, including import permits, the border, PEQ and import health standards.

The intention is to propose a better imports framework for our sector. This follows recent meetings between NZPPI and Minister O’Connor, and with MPI officials, during which we discussed what a better plant import system would look like in future years. We need your ideas.

If you are interested in attending the event (in person or by conference call-in) please email and we will send out further meeting details soon.

Thank you to our key conference sponsors


©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:





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