Ngāti Whātua Orākei runs the Okāhu Rakau Nursery, which has three staff members. The community nursery grows plants that aim to increase the biodiversity of birdlife, plants, insects and iwi habitats. The Iwi maintains its native bushland and other landscape projects with plants supplied by the nursery. The nursery, which uses no chemicals to grow its plants and manage pests, is in an isolated area and visitors only come by appointment
Merania Kerehoma of Ngāti Whātua Orākei said the nursery agreed to take part in the pilot scheme for a number of reasons:
Merania said in some areas the scheme proved to very practical and straightforward “however, as an Iwi nursery, we found some areas not so applicable due to not being a commercial nursery.”
The supporting information was also useful and very thorough but again not all the information was relevant: “it is understanding what is appropriate for our nursery for our methodology.”
The nursery team used the Nursery Manual template to fruther develop its own existing nursery manual by adding a biosecurity appendix. The Core Standard was useful as a learning pathway for best practice but the implementation of new processes was the challenging aspect.
Merania suggested that there was content and information that was more focused on the different methodology used for Iwi / community nurseries.
Being a non chemical nursery, Okāhu Rakau had to use for the first time copper to address the myrtle rust risk. The nursery team also identified lack of signage as being a potential biosecurity risk.
All three main staff are contributing to the pilot. “It is all new to us all so very good learning.”
Merania said while implementing the PPBS practices and using the guidelines on a regular basis would be a the challenge, “I believe it will make a huge improvement on organising our nursery, hygiene and maybe quality of products.”
She said customers were already asking nursery staff about the biosecurity measures taken so there was increased awareness of the risks.
The scheme would reduce nurseries’ business risk “as long as the integrity of the scheme is taken seriously and people are not just ticking a box. We not only reduce the business risk but the risk to other environments.”
“It would be great if more nurseries joined (the PPBS) as the biggest kaupapa for us is not just the business but to reduce risk to the environment.”
"It would be great if more nurseries joined (the PPBS) as the biggest kaupapa for us is not just the business but to reduce risk to the environment" (Merania Kerehoma of Ngāti Whātua Orākei) ... more