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'Horticultural Hotspot' conference a great success

'Horticultural Hotspot' conference a great success

The 44th IPPS New Zealand IPPS region conference was a great success for the 140 attendees who gathered at the Rutherford Hotel in Nelson in early March. A special welcome was made to visitors from Australia, Singapore and Japan.

The Hortfert Four Pack comprising Katie Vanassen, Michelle Turner, Jacqui Jones and Declan Smith all assisted with the smooth running of conference.

On the Thursday evening, Matt Lawrey, a local cartoonist and city councillor gave an entertaining oversight into his time as a reporter for the local paper.

Friday morning saw local councillors Mike Ward and Tim Skinner officially open the conference with addresses before the presentations got underway. These ranged from local horticultural history to issues in Australian nurseries to simple ways of making life easier around a nursery.

The afternoon field trip headed to Appleton’s Tree Nursery which included workshops on budding and grafting, seed propagation and cutting propagation. The AGM followed at the Nelson Yacht Club before a ferry took everyone across to Boulder Bank, a local geographical feature. The evening function also took part at the Yacht Club and saw the annual auction raise $6800 for IPPS New Zealand.

Saturday morning kicked off with a visit to the Nelson Market before more presentations on topics such as selecting eucalyptus, herbicides and planted floating islands. The afternoon field trip visited Nelmac Nursery, Thirkettles Nurseries, Franks Trees and the World of Wearable Arts Museum. The formal dinner that evening included the presentation of the Award of Merit to Eric Appleton and the John Follett Award of Recognition to Mark Brown. Congratulations to these two deserving recipients.

The Sunday morning concluded with more presentations on topics such as pine tree cuttings, IPM and the Japanese exchange. The two scholarship recipients also presented their videos where they interviewed leading propagators in the industry. An invitation was extended to the Christchurch 2016 conference before the organising committee comprising of Ian and Jackie Williams, Mary Duncan, Alice Buschl, Rob Fryer, Dave Harris and Jill Reader were thanked for their efforts and lunch brought conference to a close for another year.