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Commercial Horticulture

magazine article001b-230x153Auckland plantsman, Dale Harvey, says restrictions on plant imports are really holding back horticulture in New Zealand. Our industry could be a world leader - if only we’d let it. (Commercial Horticulture December 2011 / January 2012 report by Trish Hosking.)
 

Our industry could be a world leader

- if only we’d let it.


After living and working in 17 different countries over his career,garden educator Dale Harvey believes he has come to understand how blessed New Zealand is when you consider what we are able to grow here, and how well it grows.

magazine article01-100x120“I remember, growing up, my grandparents telling me that a man could actually plant an arboretum here and sit under the shade in his lifetime, and it was the only place on earth that you could do that - that things grow seven times faster here than anywhere else.

“That’s our claim to fame. Life coaches will all tell you to do what you do best. Find your passion and become great at that. And that’s what I think New Zealand’s gift is. We have this amazing botanical paradise.”

However, Dale is frustrated by what he sees as the short-sighted­ness of the legislation surrounding the importation of new plant mate­rial into this country.

"The Government is just so en­trenched in a Crown mentality that it’s stopping any kind of future de­velopment in New Zealand. That’s why everyone is leaving.

“It wasn’t that long ago that the NZ dollar was worth as much as the US dollar and much more than the Australian dollar, and we earned the title of being God’s own garden country. We were really dynamic, outgoing and progressive, a do-it-yourself country and we champi­oned ourselves on that.”

Dale feels we have let our fear of plant varieties becoming invasive get in the way of the opportunities that importing new material poten­tially offers.

“This is more than just having a few agapanthus going wild down the road. This is our future. This is our livelihood. We’re holding back a huge horticultural industry from being a world leader. Just imagine if we were open to this.

We could be importing plants from Europe and North America and China, tak­ing their best hybrids and creating new ones here in New Zealand.”

And Dale notes that would be nothing new. “Duncan and Davies did exactly this for generations. Most of the world’s best trees and shrubs in the Northern Hemisphere were being imported from New Zealand and Duncan and Davies.”

Dale feels that advances in trans­portation in more recent times make exporting even more viable. “Now we could be doing the same thing with seedlings, with cloning.

All of that could be happening here in New Zealand and it could be marketed around the world. We would have a multi-million dollar industry instead of one that’s right now falling on its arse.”

Dale says the bulb market is a case in point. “We have probably the best tulip grower on earth, Phil­ip Van Eden, in Invercargill. He exports to Holland but commiser­ates with the rest of us in that he can’t bring any of the new hybrids into the country”

Dale says Philip Van Eden has done remarkable work with the ma­terial he has and supplies the Dutch bulb market with some of the finest bulbs in the world, but he is deprived of the stunning new hybrids being developed in Europe and the US which, if he were able to import, he could incorporate into his own breeding programme here.

“It’s an attitude of fear that’s holding things back. We could em­ploy every person in New Zealand in the horticultural industry.

Not necessarily all growing things, but with all the support networks we could be the world’s garden para­dise, exporting all around the world. It’s just a matter of opening the door and allowing it to hap­pen.”

Dale Harvey – our attitude of fear is holding us back

(Download PDF file)

About us

dale-john 01-100x66 Dale Harvey and John Newton met in Melbourne Australia in 1981. Since then they both have supported each others careers while also building and maintaining their own. Read about how they were able to turn their joint careers into one and creating a dream of a better world starting in their own local community.

Media & Publications

host daffodils-100x66The following articles are a small part of the many published editorials on or about both Dale Harvey and John Newton plus the property affectionately nick named by the people of New Zealand, as the
"Quarter Acre” Paradise gardens.

Awards & Credits

HOPE Trust-100x66This is a collection of Appreciation Certificates, Local and Overseas Awards with Acknowledgments presented to Dale Harvey and John Newton over the many years of their joint careers plus the Launch and Registration
of The H.O.P.E. Trust
The Healing of Planet Earth.

Contact Us

P.O.Box Papatoetoe Central
2156 Auckland
New Zealand
Tel: +61 9 276 4827
Fax: +61 9 276 4025
Email: info@daleharvey.com 
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