OCNZ newsletter: February 2018

Happy New Year and welcome back to another year of orchids! The Taranaki Orchid Society started the year off with their popular summer show adding something new by featuring Native Orchids. The other special event of the weekend was Lee Neale’s 70th birthday. Lee had a lovely time in New Plymouth celebrating with family and friends.

The OCNZ committee has just had its first committee meeting of the year and has a lot of exciting work ahead of them.

2019 National Orchid Expo by Graham Jackson
The next national orchid show will be held in Palmerston North from September 18-23, 2019. An organising committee has been appointed and plans are now underway.

Arena Manawatu is the chosen venue for the event. This is the same central location in Pascal Street that was used at the last National Expo in Palmerston North. Those of you who were at this 2010 Expo will remember the event was spread over two sites with the commercial vendors in a separate location adjacent to the display area. This time we will use the one stadium with commercial vendors surrounding the displays as at the 2013 Expo in New Plymouth. A floor area of more than 3300 square meters will be available in the stadium and we expect that all of the programme will take place at this location.

The initial organising committee is Allan Rae (chair), Bill Liddy, Graham Robertson and Graham Jackson. It is anticipated that others will be co-opted to assist as particular needs are identified.

It is anticipated the committee will have an approved floor plan available at the Orchid Council AGM later this year. We are planning an exciting speaker programme involving overseas and local orchid experts and informal approaches have already been made to a number possible speakers. The committee will actively seek financial support through sponsorship from commercial organisations and for cash prizes from Societies and/or individuals.

We will not be providing an accommodation service as part of the registration package. This will be your responsibility as this information is readily available from a number of sources. We suggest that you check the information centre website www.manawatunz.co.nz or the AA website www.aa.co.nz/travel for details of what is available.

There have been significant changes over recent years in the different ways we can communicate with each other and much of what was done by print and post can now be done by electronic means. A website is under way and we are preparing a database which together will be a source for digital communication (email, newsletters, registration etc.).but importantly will also allow us to make contact in written form with orchid growers who prefer this method. Feel free to email us

The final result of the show will of course depend on the level of support received from Societies right around the country. We need your plants and we need your participation. This has been excellent in the past and we are confident that we can rely on you again this time.

MPI Update
At our Ministry of Primary Industries open day last year we were advised that an application for the development of an Import Health Standard for the Cattleya alliance needs to be submitted to Plant Imports in order to get hybrids on the Plant Biosecurity Index (PBI). It would be several years before MPI could look at this so it was determined that the best way forward would be to review and update the Cattleya species currently on the PBI. If the parent species are on the list then you should be able to import the hybrids providing you can trace the parentage and have the correct paperwork. This is a much smaller body of work than developing an Import Health Standard and MPI will have the resource to work on this once we have submitted the information.

OCNZ will work on this project during the year. Anyone who has a good knowledge of Cattleya species who would like to be involved with checking names please contact me I would love to hear from you.
The other thing we can do to assist MPI to update the PBI is by providing proof that orchids, that aren’t currently on the PBI, were already in the country before the HSNO Act came into force in 1990. If you have any old orchid catalogues that you could loan us we will scan them and send that information to MPI. Please email me on if you can help.

At the open day we also discussed the difficulties orchid growers have getting a small number of flasks across the border. The recommendation given by a Chief Quarantine Officer present at the meeting was that when growers are importing flasks, email a list to quarantine services with the names and parentage of the plants, together with your flight details. This will enable MPI to carry out a pre-screen which will speed things up at border control when the grower arrives. I have the contact details for Quarantine Services at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch International airports and will supply this information on request.

Glenys MacRae