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Award For North Canterbury Nursery Manager

Premier Conservation Award Presented To North Canterbury Nursery Manager

Associate Conservation Minister Phillida Bunkle has today (Friday) presented New Zealand's premier conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the manager of Canterbury's Motukarara Nursery, Jorge Santos.

"Jorge Santos has undertaken outstanding work in helping to restore native plants, including some threatened with extinction, to their rightful place in the landscapes of the South Island," Ms Bunkle said.

She said this year Mr Santos would be coordinating a $25,000 project as part of the $2.5m conservation awareness package announced in this year's Budget. He is developing a user-friendly native plant restoration and protection resource kit for farmers, community groups, and local bodies around New Zealand.

The Associate Conservation Minister said Portugese born Mr Santos left behind a law career to come to New Zealand in 1974. He has worked at the Department of Conservation's native plant nursery at Motukarara, at the base of Bank's Peninsula, for the past 17 years. The nursery's annual open day in April attracts thousands of visitors from throughout North Canterbury as well as other parts of the South Island.

The Loder Cup honours people and organisations for their outstanding contribution to conservation. Englishman Gerald Loder donated the cup in 1926 to encourage and honour New Zealanders who worked to investigate, promote and cherish the country's indigenous plants.

Recent recipients of the Loder Cup include horticulturalist Chris Rance and her husband Brian of Southland (1999) who created a community garden and nursery on their property for some of the most threatened Southland plants, and the Auckland-based Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi (1998) who turned the Hauraki Gulf island into a haven for endangered birds.

Ends

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