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Conference 2004
Happening in Hamilton

Saturday, October 30th, 2004.

Rotary Lounge at Hamilton Gardens complex off Cobham Drive, Hamilton.

Chartwell Room at Hamilton Gardens complex off Cobham Drive, Hamilton.

Speaker: Peter Cave, well known grower, traveller and surfer.

Subject: New Zealand needs new plants - the challenges of discovering new plants and the difficulties of getting them from their originating countries and into New Zealand.

The Banks Lecture commemorates Sir Joseph Banks who accompanied Captain Cook on his first voyage of discovery to New Zealand in 1769. Banks was a great promoter of science in Britain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He later became President of the Royal Society, London for many years and controlled the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

Banks was particularly interested in plants that could be used for practical purposes. He encouraged the introduction of such plants into other countries for possible commercial use and he fostered the exchange of plants and animals between the old world and the new worlds then being made known by exploration.

It was therefore fitting that the 2004 Banks Lecture dealt with the role of introduced plants in New Zealand. In our agriculture, our horticulture and our forestry New Zealand is almost completely dependent on introduced plants. Ultimately we depend on them for our livelihood. Yet it is fashionable for introduced plants to receive a bad press, being often portrayed as unwelcome aliens, inappropriate for our landscape.

Peter Cave is a nurseryman from Cambridge who specialises in novel, cool-temperate plants, especially from Asia. Peter is not a narrow-minded plant chauvinist. He believes that we should take advantage of the enormous diversity of plants available to us, that we should choose to use the very best of plants irrespective of their country of origin. In his lecture he discussed the need to introduce new plants to New Zealand. He relayed his own experiences in plant hunting following in the footsteps of some of the great plant explorers and finding the plants that should do well in New Zealand. He then described possibly the hardest part, the many regulatory hurdles to actually introducing new plants.

Read article based on this lecture as a PDF and webpage

To make a day of these events, we organised a total package for a big day out to have an in depth look at Hamilton Gardens.

The day included:

  • Guided tours of the gardens -
    10.30am with Gardens' Director Peter Sergel
    Afternoon - Specialist talks and tours of particular gardens of interest
  • Finger food lunch
  • Pre dinner social hour
  • Set menu dinner
  • AGM and the Banks Lecture

    Organised by:

    Bronwen Rowse
    P.O. Box 34


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