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NZ Plant Conservation Network Award

August 16, 2005

Bay of Plenty wins NZ Plant Conservation Network Award

Environment Bay of Plenty has won the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network (NZPCN) Award for 2005 for the council making the greatest contribution to caring for plants.

Environment Bay of Plenty received the recognition for restoring coastal dunes of the Bay of Plenty.

``Their regional council has implemented the most important dune restoration and care programme in New Zealand,’’ NZPCN President Ian Spellerberg said in announcing the awards today.

``They have successfully planted up hundreds of kilometres of dune systems. This has seen hundreds of thousands of native plants restored to coastal areas. The contribution they are making to sustainable coastal management is world class.,’’ he said.

Lincoln High School won the award for the school making the greatest contribution to plant conservation by restoring a shingle pit.

Oratia Plant Nursery in Auckland was named the top plant nursery. Geoff Davidson received the award for his establishing and managing Oratia Plant Nursery which grows and sells over 1000 species of native plant.

Peter de Lange of Auckland won the award for making the greatest individual contribution to plant conservation. Peter was acknowledged for being at the forefront of threatened plant research for over 15 years.

David Given of Christchurch received a life time achievement award by the Network for his work over the past 30 years to promote and research native plants.

``David was the first person in New Zealand to develop threatened plant lists as a basis for prioritising effort for conservation. He has worked tirelessly to protect threatened plant life”, Spellerberg said.

``Plant conservation is such an important issue for New Zealand as a society. In the next few months the number of exotic plant species wild in New Zealand is expected to eclipse the number of native species.’’

A recent assessment found that the number of exotic plants in the wild in NZ has reached 2301, only 35 species short of reaching the total number of native plants in the country (2336).

Unless more was done, New Zealanders would face a future in which native plants continue to decline towards extinction and weeds continue to spread across the landscape, he said.

The NZPCN is New Zealand’s only organisation devoted solely to protecting and restoring the countries unique and globally important native flora.

ENDS


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