Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Seed Bank For Endangered Species Opens

Seed bank for endangered species opens

New Zealand’s only national native plant seed bank for endangered species will be officially opened today in Palmerston North by Hon. Chris Carter, Minister of Conservation.

The MWH Seed Bank has been founded as New Zealand’s conservation insurance policy to ensure endangered indigenous species are not lost for future generations. The native seed bank is located within the rohe of Rangitaane and Iwi from Ngati Kuri will be officially depositing the first seed collected of Atriplex hollowayii - a nationally endangered coastal herb that grows on the coastal dunes of Northland.

The New Zealand Plant Conservation Network (NZPCN), with over 500 members worldwide, is the only non-governmental organisation in New Zealand solely devoted to protecting the country’s indigenous flora. The Network prepared the plan to establish New Zealand’s native seed bank and has been coordinating this project for the past four years, working in conjunction with MWH New Zealand (the seed bank sponsor), and AgResearch (who will manage the seed bank).

“While conserving our native plants in the wild remains our top priority, this seed bank initiative provides a valuable insurance policy should destruction occur of wild habitats and of native plant populations. A national seed bank provides one of the first practical solutions to the effects of climate change as we will know our plants are secure whatever happens,” said NZPCN President Ian Spellerberg.

New Zealand’s seed bank is part of a global network of banks which is an essential tool to protect the world’s flora against the effects of climate change and other environmental threats. This is particularly important in New Zealand where over 200 indigenous plant species are regarded as threatened.

The seeds are preserved by careful drying after which they are stored at minus 20°C in AgResearch’s purpose-built Margot Forde Germplasm Centre in Palmerston North.

AgResearch has expertise and experience in preserving collections of seed, and the Curator of the Margot Forde Centre, Dr Warren Williams, is a recognised international expert in the field.

“The forage plant seed held in the Centre represents a wide range of species and genera. This collection will help ensure our unique plant based biodiversity survives into the future,” says Dr Williams.

The native plant seed bank has been made possible with funding from MWH New Zealand, a 750 person, employee-owned engineering and environmental consultancy. MWH New Zealand Country Manager Andrew Caseley said, “Each year we make a Christmas conservation donation in lieu of giving client gifts. By providing establishment funding for New Zealand’s first native seed bank we are helping leave a positive and lasting legacy for future generations.”


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Commerce Commission: Warns Genesis Over Business Billing Errors

The Commerce Commission has issued a warning to Genesis Energy Limited about billing errors concerning electricity line charges to business customers. Genesis reported the errors to the Commission. The Commission considers that Genesis is likely to ... More>>

QV: Tax Changes Yet To Dampen Red-Hot Housing Market

Just over a month has passed since the Government announced measures aimed at dampening the rampant growth of the property market, and yet the latest QV House Price Index data shows the market hit a new high in April. The average value increased 8.9% nationally ... More>>

Stats NZ: Consents For New Homes At All-Time High

A record 41,028 new homes have been consented in the year ended March 2021, Stats NZ said today. The previous record for the annual number of new homes consented was 40,025 in the year ended February 1974. “Within 10 years the number of new homes ... More>>

The Conversation: Why Now Would Be A Good Time For The Reserve Bank Of New Zealand To Publish Stress Test Results For Individual Banks

Set against the backdrop of an economy healing from 2020’s annus horribilis , this week’s Financial Stability Report (FSR) from the Reserve Bank (RBNZ) was cautiously reassuring: the country’s financial system is sound, though vulnerabilities remain. More>>

Reserve Bank: Concerned About New Zealand's Rising House Prices

New Zealand house prices have risen significantly in the past 12 months. This has raised concerns at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Putea Matua about the risk this poses to financial stability. Central banks responded swiftly to the global ... More>>

Westpac: Announces Strong Financial Result

Westpac New Zealand (Westpac NZ) [i] says a strong half-year financial result has been driven by better than expected economic conditions. Chief Executive David McLean said while the global COVID-19 pandemic was far from over, the financial effect on ... More>>