Minginui nursery

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Te Runanga o Ngati Whare Chairman Bronco Carson with Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson at the nursery opening.

Scion’s innovative science has opened the door to what could become a lucrative indigenous forestry industry for New Zealand. Our scientists have discovered how to propagate native trees from cuttings, which enables them to grow faster and in larger amounts, and overcomes the difficulty of sourcing viable seed and unreliable germination of that seed.

The novel technology will be used by Ngati Whare in their new state-of-theart, million dollar nursery opened recently at Minginui, near Rotorua, on the edge of the Whirinaki Forest. A joint venture between Scion and Ngati Whare will enable the mass production of four indigenous podocarps – rimu, kahikatea, totara and miro – on a large commercial scale with assurance as to their provenance. The partnership aims to further develop the propagation approach and licence it to other indigenous nurseries across New Zealand over the next few years. This will lead to more trees being propagated with known progeny becoming available to other parties that is both reliable and affordable.

General Manager Research and Investments, Dr Russell Burton, says Ngati Whare are showing real leadership in their approach. “We are honoured and proud to be Ngati Whare’s partner in our shared vision to restore New Zealand’s indigenous forests.”

Russell says the approach will require a new model for forestry where conservation and commercial activities work together. “We see native trees as complementing radiata pine with each species providing timbers with highly valued properties in quite different markets.”