Minginui Nursery focuses on native plant species and is the first in the country to use the new approach to vegetation propagation of indigenous podocarps, which Scion has been developing over the past two years in conjunction with Ngāti Whare Holdings.
The nursery is located in the heart of Minginui and is very close to the Whirinaki Forest, which is undergoing a major podocarps replanting operation. All plants grown within the nursery are containerised in a polyhouse, shade house and then eventually in a stand out area to harden off.
The investment from Ngāti Whare into the nursery includes irrigation booms and tray filling equipment from Italy, and the latest technology from New Zealand’s nursery sector and locally engineered plant tables.
The approach to vegetation propagation is the unique element of the Minginui Nursery. This approach was assisted by a team from Scion in Rotorua who had just developed a world leading technology to grow native trees. The approach has a much higher success rate than traditional seed growing methods and allows for much quicker growth of new plants. This new approach creates the opportunity to develop a sustainable supply of stems to support the development of a native plantation forestry industry in New Zealand.
Another unique element of the Minginui Nursery is the way in which employees of the nursery have eco sourced the seeds from the Whirinaki Forest for planting. Ngāti Whare Holdings has a strong relationship with the Department of Conservation, which has led to the company having access to seeds from the Whirinaki Forest.
The main drivers to establishing the Minginui Nursery are:
- To establish an operation capable of providing ‘at scale’ plants for the development of native species commercial forestry operations;
- Provide employment opportunities for residents in Minginui; and
- Over time, earn a commercial return that can be used to benefit the Ngāti Whare iwi.