OCNZ Newsletter: November 2020

This month we have some exciting news to report about a research project at the Iwitahi Native Orchid Reserve. Here is Allan Rae’s report.

Earlier this year Council submitted to Waikato University a research proposal to be considered for their Summer Research Scholarships programme. Council’s proposal was designed to inform future actions regarding the sustainability of the Iwitahi Native Orchid Reserve. Some of the Pinus nigra trees under which the orchids grow are now getting old. Although some new planting is occurring, a future possibility is establishing a new stand of P. nigra on a new site nearby and eventually transplanting the orchids.

The project comprises two parts: A GIS mapping study to advance and update existing data on the extant plant population and the accurate location of the species. Second, guidance is sought regarding strategic issues that relate to future sustainability of the orchid reserve in its current or a new location.

Council was delighted to learn that the proposal had been selected for the programme and that Ms Georgia Steel (Universities of Canterbury and Waikato) has been selected to undertake this project. Council is grateful to Waikato University for offering this opportunity, and to the university and Dr George Mason’s Trust in jointly funding the scholarship stipend. We also are thankful for the support of Timberlands Ltd which has offered generous financial assistance towards the student’s travel and accommodation. Other costs will be met by Council and the Orchid Foundation Trust Board. The research will be conducted over the 2020-21 university summer vacation, with a report to be submitted to Council.

Iwitahi Annual Summer Camp – December 4-6
This is a relaxed weekend where we do a range of mostly light maintenance (keeping tracks clear, weeding around new trees, clearing weeds out of colonies etc) accommodation is at Sika Lodge and meals are included. Attached are some pictures of what you might see. To register for the weekend or to get more details email Keith Smart or Toby Marris.

Reminder from the Yearbook Editor
Just a reminder that Allan needs your contributions for the Yearbook. With award numbers being down due to cancelled meetings and shows there will be plenty of room for articles. Please email contributions and ideas to editor Allan Rae.

South Island Judges Seminar
Chris reported that the South Island Judges Seminar held over Labour Weekend in Nelson was greatly enjoyed with three excellent presentations from Selwyn Hatrick. Selwyn particularly recommended the photo gallery of Marriott Orchids as a reference for high-quality Paphs. Thanks go to the Nelson team for organising the weekend.

Glenys MacRae