Ngāti Whare Holdings Limited opened the Minginui Nursery in 2016. Ngāti Whare Holdings is a subsidiary of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whare and part of the Ngāti Whare Group. Minginui Nursery grows native plants, with a focus on a new technology for podocarps such as tōtara, rimu, kahikatea and miro. One of the main drivers for establishing the nursery was to provide employment within Minginui. The nursery currently employs 17 permanent staff and a Manager.
Nursery Manager Matt Jackman, said Minginui Nursery took part in the Plant Producers Biosecurity Scheme pilot because “as an iwi based organisation we felt it was important to align ourselves with proposed industry standards.”
He said as Minginui was a young Nursery, it was still developing processes, so the pilot involved a lot more work than it would in a more established nursery.
He said the PPBS supporting information was good, generally speaking, and the Nursery Manual template was helpful as a guideline although there was a crossover of some information with the Core Standard. Minginui had good dialogue with John Liddle of the scheme when support was required.
As well as the new documentation requirements, Matt is currently implementing a stock management system to allow traceability of plants. In addition, visitor groups to the nursery are now being better managed to avoid introduction of a biosecurity hazard.
Matt said the staff response to the scheme, despite the extra work involved, was positive.
“Our staff are very inexperienced however they have grasped the fundamentals of why we need biosecurity”
Matt said implementing the scheme’s practices and guidelines would improve his nursery’s productivity and reduce business risk around biosecurity.
“I think overall it forces us to look at processes to closely manage and monitor our crop.”
It would also help give Minginui more credibility in the marketplace and a competitive edge “because customers will know that they are getting a quality-assured product.”
“Yes I think it is worthwhile, however, to a new operation like us, it does require a fair amount of time so it has been hard to get things moving in that respect when there are so many other processes that need to be put in place first.”
"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