Farewell 2020

Posted on November 30, 2020

The farewell messages to 2020 will be widely varied this year with a compelling good riddance from many and a sense of shock to most that the year is over already.

Somebody posted recently that before they go into 2021 they would like to see the terms and conditions first😊

The glass half full will reflect on the lessons learnt that we never would have thought possible in the short space of 12 months:

  • Total lockdown and learning to value those close to us.
  • International travel paused for the foreseeable future. Was all that travel necessary?
  • Social distancing becoming ingrained into our mannerisms.
  • Zoom as a normal way of business life now.
  • Trade and supply greatly interrupted. We are changing the priority of what is most important in the value chain.
  • Vulnerable industries that are repositioning.
  • Essential industries that need to plan for more lockdowns and how to operate safely.

Plant Production nurseries were granted exception as essential businesses by the government during lockdowns over 2020. A huge shout out of thanks must go to the NZPPI CEO Matt Dolan, his team and the board for their persistence in Wellington for us. Hopefully this can remain the case should any further lockdowns happen.

A plant is a living organism and needs care and attention daily. Our industry is at the at the core or sharp end of plant and food in NZ. It is our plants going into the environment that allow intensification of land use whilst protecting the waterways and soils. A plant growing in a nursery needs as much care as an animal.

The other factor that 2020 gave us in harsh reality was the drought conditions that continued into the beginning of the winter. The drought made us think about our plant selections in urban landscapes. Griselinea littoralis, our most common hedging plant did not perform so well. Nature will do what she wants, and we must take notice and learn from Her.

One of the beautiful parts of the plant production industry is that we cannot import native plants by the container load from overseas. It is an industry that is very much “buy local”. This has been an interesting discussion with people from other industries who are scouring the globe for secure supply right now. At Kauri Park we are searching the hillsides, gullies, sand dunes and wetlands for seed right here at home throughout NZ.

On a mechanical note: This year one of our faithful trucks clocked over 1,000,000kms. This vehicle has transported millions of native plants all over NZ during its years of service. Not surprising the “check engine” light was on! We will retire our old friend and you will have to meet the new truck who has high standards to live up to.

Last month, October 21st was the 10-year anniversary of our fire. It was interesting to reflect on how many lessons we learnt from the fire that were relevant to 2020. The team resilience that we could rally to and take up challenges was key. Adversity builds a mindset to overcome and win when large obstacles are placed in our way.

2020 has given Kauri Park a renewed sense of direction and urgency. Once the pandemic has been brought under control, people will be able to focus on what really mattered to us – our planet and our responsibilities to fix the wrongs of the past. New Zealand has a unique advantage to achieve this quickly.

Kauri Park will be closed from the 19th December to the 10th of January