Contributing to the theme Growing For A Better Life, Wellington-Horowhenua branch of NZTCA have attracted a diverse and thought-provoking line-up of speakers for our 2023 Annual Tree Crops Conference.  

Professor Jim Jones will talk about biochar and soil carbon and the important role it plays in sustaining soil fertility and hydration while addressing climate change.  Also focussing on soils, Dr Craig Ross will address the fate of the 5% of New Zealand which constitutes our stock of elite soils, while Nick Ward will address the vital importance of agricultural biosecurity to meeting not only our future national food requirements but the ongoing viability of our horticultural export trade. 

Andy Wiltshire and Eric Cairns will talk on their personal evolving experiences with specialist crops.  Andy from Pinoli pinenuts will detail his fascinating story of long term vision and persistence in establishing a substantial operation involving the culture of stone pines. Eric will demonstrate the value we can get from Oaks planted as a food crop or as a preferred furniture construction material.  He will talk about the work he and others in an “Oak interest group” are doing to promote the cultivation of Oaks in New Zealand. 

We are excited to have Sharlene Maoate-Davis speak, who will introduce us to Rongoā Māori, traditional Māori healing, with a focus on the long-established use of plant remedies for health and well-being.

and finally enjoy dinner while listening to our guest speaker Erick Brenstrum. A regular on Radio New Zealand’s Nights programme talking with Bryan Crump, Erik will regale us with weather related stories.