New Zealand’s top conservation award won by leading Tauranga native nursery founder

New Zealand’s highest conservation award for outstanding achievements in flora conservation work has been awarded to Mark Dean, Founder of Naturally Native New Zealand Plants Limited.

Mark Dean was awarded the prestigious Loder Cup for his achievements over the last three decades, in particular his work and contribution in native flora.  Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson commented “Mark has made an outstanding contribution working in the horticulture industry specialising in native flora.  He has spent much of the past thirty years inspiring others as an advisor, teacher and role model both within the horticulture industry and in community conservation projects”.

Mark’s career in the nursery industry started in 1980 when he decided to make a radical career change, leaving the teaching profession to establish a nursery at Oropi.  Mark had a passion for native species and what began as a lifestyle venture, transformed into a horticultural business success story with three large production nurseries across the North Island.

Mark has always been a strong advocate for native plants in the natural setting and the role they play in maintaining and repairing the environment.  Today, he is a representative on a number of organisations including the Dune Restoration Trust, Tane Tree Trust and Trees for Survival, as well as being a life member and past president of the Nursery and Garden Industry Association.  On a local Bay of Plenty level, Mark is an advisor to the Rotary Centennial Trust which is working to replant the Kopurererua Valley in Tauranga.

The Loder Cup was donated to New Zealand in 1926 by Gerald Loder, in order to encourage and honour New Zealanders who work to investigate, promote, retain and cherish our indigenous flora.  A function to present the Loder Cup will be held on Saturday 29 October.

14 September 2011

 

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