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Conference 2019
24th October 2019
‘Commemorating Cook’

We ran a successful one-day symposium in Wellington commemorating the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook and his botanists arrival in Aotearoa-New Zealand.

This symposium was held 24th October 2019, between the Botanic Gardens Australia & New Zealand (BGANZ) Congress (2023rd October) and the Australian Garden History Society Conference (2527th October). Attendees from both conferences joined the RNZIH Symposium.

Our expert speakers, Ewen Cameron, Catherine Duthie and our 2019 Banks Memorial Lecturer Ross Ferguson covered diverse topics on botany, horticulture, biosecurity, and Maori perspectives.

The networking forum allowed time to connect with others and exchange ideas.

Venue: Rangimarie Room 1, Te Papa Tongarewa, 55 Cable St, Wellington.
Date: Thursday, 24 October 2019.
Time: Arrival from 9.30am.
Cost: Entry by donation.

Order of events

9.30am: Registration, morning tea.

10.00–11.30am: Symposium speakers:

10.00am: Ewen Cameron (Curator of Botany, Auckland Museum): The first descriptions, illustrations and scientific collections of the New Zealand flora.

10.45am: Catherine Duthie (Team manger, Readiness Programmes, MPI): Biosecurity in New Zealand.

11.30am – 12.00 noon: Break (bring your own lunch or use the local café).

12.00–12.30pm: Networking forum.

12.30–1.30pm: Banks Memorial Lecture.

1.30–3.00pm: Award Presentations and AGM.


BANKS MEMORIAL LECTURE (a free public lecture)
‘The domestication and successful commercialisation of kiwifruit’

By A.R. Ferguson AHRIH(NZ)

Ross Ferguson Yellow-fleshed kiwifruit
Ross Ferguson, 2019 Banks Memorial Lecturer. Yellow-fleshed kiwifruit. Image courtesy Plant & Food Research.

The Banks Memorial Lecture is a free lecture open to the public. The lecture commemorates Sir Joseph Banks, botanist on Captain Cook's first voyage to New Zealand. During a later distinguished scientific career, Banks was Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, London.

Venue: Rangimarie Room 1, Te Papa Tongarewa, 55 Cable St, Wellington.
Date: Thursday, 24 October 2019.
Time: 12.301.30pm.
Cost: Free.

The Banks Memorial Lecture commemorates Sir Joseph Banks. In New Zealand, Banks is remembered mainly for his botanical work, when he joined Captain Cook on his first voyage to the South Pacific. In later life, Banks had many other interests including the domestication of plants and the transfer of economically important plants from one part of the world to another. He believed that scientific discoveries had the potential to produce economic advantages.

The history of the green-fleshed kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis var. deliciosa) is a classic example of the successful domestication and commercialisation of a new fruit plant. Almost every step from wild plant in China to successful export crop in New Zealand is known in detail. The initial steps involved plant explorers such as Robert Fortune and E.H. Wilson. The development of kiwifruit as a commercial crop was due to enthusiastic orchardists and nurserymen, especially the selection of a good cultivar by Hayward Wright.

The subsequent development of kiwifruit as a new export crop was due to the efforts of orchardists, scientists and the marketing organisations. New Zealand led the way in commercialisation of the green kiwifruit and then initiated international trade in yellow-fleshed kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis var. chinensis).

When disaster struck recently with the arrival of a new disease, bacterial blight of kiwifruit, caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae, it was the collaboration between scientists and the industry that resulted in the successful replacement of a cultivar susceptible to the disease with one that was more resistant. Science was able to produce tangible economic returns.



The 2019 RNZIH AGM and award presentations was held Thursday, 24th October 2019, 1.303.00 pm, following the symposium and Banks Memorial Lecture at Te Papa.


  1. Apologies / In Memoriam
  2. Minutes of the 2018 Annual General Meeting
  3. Matters arising from the Minutes of the 2018 AGM
  4. President’s Report
  5. Statement of Accounts for 2018 and Budget for 2019
  6. Branch Reports
  7. Election of Officers
  8. General Business
    8.1 Subscriptions
    8.2 RNZIH NZ Gardens Trust
    8.3 NZ Notable Trees Trust
    8.4 RNZIH Education Trust
    8.5 Publications and website
    8.6 Other business
  9. Award presentations.


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Last updated: December 27, 2019