25 November 2019

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In this issue

  • Plant imports system
  • Young Horticulturist competition
  • Shed meeting - Blenheim
  • Tradescantia fluminensis
  • Prunus Import Health Standard review update
  • Offshore facility standard
  • Winner Native Nursery Survey
  • Conference 2020

NZPPI fights for change in plant imports system

NZ Plant Producers supports Biosecurity NZ’s work to protect New Zealand’s primary industries from an increasing number of biosecurity risks. But we’re unhappy plant importers are wearing a disproportionate burden and cost of the added protections MPI seeks.

Over the past three years we’ve seen tighter biosecurity protection in plant imports, while other risk pathways – such as fresh produce and flower imports – are largely unchanged.

Despite more than a dozen submissions from NZ Plant Producers, in the past month alone MPI has proposed new rules that add significant cost and complexity to importing seeds and germplasm.

Lack of planning and investment in staff and infrastructure over the past decade means that many of the rules simply cannot be implemented. For example, MPI now wants an increase in the level of quarantine for imported budwood, to level 3(a), despite knowing this level of quarantine is not available in New Zealand.

NZ Plant Producers is absolutely committed to playing its role in improving New Zealand’s biosecurity. Our industry actively participates in the Government-Industry Agreement on Biosecurity, myrtle rust and we continue to develop the industry biosecurity scheme. We just want recognition of this contribution, and for MPI to work with our industry to find solutions that work for all of us.

Plant importing is a key advocacy area for NZ Plant Producers Inc. We advocate for a safe and workable system that recognises the benefits and innovation that plant imports bring to New Zealand.

Young Horticulturist competition

NZ Plant Producers congratulates Rico Mannall for a very strong second placing in the 2019 Young Horticulturalist Competition.

Rico, from Southern Woods Nursery in Canterbury, was representing the Plant Producers sector. He also won the Fruitfed Suppliers Leadership Award, and came first in the Agmardt Market Innovation Project.

Fruitfed Supplies national manager Duncan Fletcher congratulates Rico on his second place win. Photo: Sarah Weber Photography

The Young Horticulturalist Kaiahuone Rangatahi o te Tau competition winners were announced in Auckland last week, and the overall winner was Simon Gourley from Domaine Thomson Wines, representing the Winegrowers sector.

As second-place getter, Rico wins a $5,500 study scholarship from Massey University; $750 from ICL Specialty Fertilisers; and a one-year membership to the NZ Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science.

Southern Woods Nursery is a family business: Rico is the business development and marketing manager, and his mother Susy is a director. Southern Woods is fertile ground for Young Horticulturalist finalists – Rico is its third finalist since 2015.

Shed meeting - Ormond Nurseries, Blenheim

Plant producers from Marlborough and Nelson met at Ormond Nurseries in Grovetown in October, for Marlborough’s first NZ Plant Producers shed meeting.

The afternoon was an opportunity to learn from each other and check out Ormond’s very impressive grape vine operation (on the very last day of grafting).

The 25 attendees also heard from consultant Sarah Watson on the business benefits of LEAN farming processes. Sarah has worked with dairy farmers to simplify work processes, and many of the nurseries at the Shed Meeting quickly found ways to simplify their own work.

Finally, the group enjoyed a 45-minute presentation from NZ Plant Producers chief executive Matthew Dolan, with the latest updates on the industry’s relationship with government. Matthew’s comprehensive presentation covered legislation, industry qualifications, 1 Billion Trees, and plant imports, and was followed by a healthy discussion on industry issues.

Thanks to hosts Ben Wickham and the Ormond Nurseries team, who provided an informative day, a great lunch, and seamlessly handled a power cut during the afternoon.

If you’d like to host a shed meeting in your district, contact Matthew Dolan

Ormond's 'Tracked', which prevents soil compaction, attracted plenty of admirers.

Tradescantia fluminensis

Auckland Council has completed a genetic analysis of two ornamental cultivars of Tradescantia – ‘Golden Girl’ and ‘Pink Princess’ and found that they are Tradescantia fluminensis and are therefore prohibited for sale under the National Pest Plant Accord and Regional Pest Management Plan.

These plants readily revert to the standard green form when they escape from the garden or compost heap. These cultivars have been offered for sale recently, despite this species being prohibited from sale.

NZPPI is a partner in the National Pest Plant Accord and we encourage our members to follow the Accord and remain aware of the prohibited pest plants listed in the register.

L: Tradescantia 'Golden Girl' R: Tradescantia 'Pink Princess'

Offshore Facility Standard

MPI consulted NZ Plant Producers on the revised standard for offshore facilities holding and testing plants. Our industry is committed to protecting New Zealand from biosecurity threats, while ensuring we continue to access clean plant material and new genetics from around the world. The offshore facility standard is therefore an important regulatory standard that supports the success of our industry.

The proposed changes increased the complexity for offshore facility operators, introducing specific processes which create risk for all parties. We made ten recommendations to improve the standard and most of these have been adopted by MPI in the final standard which can be found here – Standard for Offshore Facilities Holding or Testing Plants for Planting.

Winner of the Native Nursery Survey gift card

Congratulations to Palle Olsen of Korimako Habitats, the winner of the Native Nursery Survey Go Gardening Gift Card. All completed online surveys went into the draw to win the $150 card, donated to their school of choice. Palle donated to Pinehurst School in Albany, Auckland.

Conference 2020

Watch this space – planning has started for the 2020 Plant Producers Conference Bringing Plants to Life. The 2020 conference will look at sustainability within our industry and our industry’s crucial contribution to sustainability in the broader economy and society.

The conference will be held over two days in May and the NZ Plant Producers team is currently seeking a suitable venue in the northern half of the North Island. All members are encouraged to bring their staff along, both for the business opportunities at the conference, and the networking opportunities at the conference dinner.


©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
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