Our specialty is eco-sourced(1) native plants from the Canterbury region of New Zealand. Ecosourcing plants ensure the biological diversity of the planted area and increase the survival rate of the plants. At the very least, ecosourcing plants from the appropriate region ensure that the plants are genetically designed for the area they will be planted in. At Wai-ora, we believe that plants should be sourced from as close to their destination as possible(2). In choosing which plants are best suited to your project, we look at the physical location of the project, the growing conditions and the goal of the project. With that information, we select the best possible plants(3) for their genetic and ecological diversity.

What we offer

–          Restoration planting advice: If you have a specific tract of land you are looking to revegetate into native bush, we can offer advice on what plant species are best suited to your location. We can work with you to develop a year-over-year planting plan. This includes growing plants from seeds that have been specifically eco-sourced for your project and may involve a multiple-year planting plan.

–          Contract growing services: For long-term revegetation projects which includes seed collection, plant production and maintenance. We have the capacity for large-scale development and infrastructure projects along with long-term revegetation projects spanning decades.

–          Connection with funding partners for revegetation projects: If you are looking for help funding your revegetation project, there are numerous funding options available from private and government bodies that we regularly work with. We operate in a partnership model to produce excellent environmental outcomes for you.

–          Providing wholesale volumes of plants to customers.

–          Canterbury sourced native plants: We focus on plants that naturally occur in the Canterbury region, plants that have not been genetically modified or transplanted from another region by man. We collect seed from all over Canterbury in wild stands that are not close to man-made plantings. From these seeds, we grow plants in order to replant them in the Canterbury region. We also offer a range of endangered and rare species as part of our commitment to environmental restoration in the Canterbury region.

–       Trustworthy and well-traced eco sourcing: We have strict guidelines and well-educated staff who follow the guidelines to identify the species and its wildness. Each plant or series of plants that we collect from are given a GPS waypoint which is then documented. This is tracked from sowing through to sales ensuring each plant can be traced back to its parent in the wild. 

Clients appreciate our highly educated and committed staff who are both passionate and skilled in native plant propagation and achieving exceptional environmental outcomes for our region. We are interested in your environmental project regardless of size or significance.

What we’ve done:

  • Te Whariki Subdivision: plant supply and coordination
  • Templeton Golf Course: Partnership with Fulton Hogan and ECan, a long-term scientific study of best growing practices and catalogue of rare species on the site. Remarkable for its preserved location on the Low Plains, the site holds a variety of rare species. Preservation of the genetic biodiversity is the focus and we conduct GPS location tracking of the plants for future use should the golf course be relocated. 
  • Te Kohaka Tuhaitara Trust: plant supply and professional advice of community planting days when it started. Now plant supply and advice for their 200  plantings per year to restore the park to indigenous forest.
  • Pegasus seed collection: planting advice, supply
  • Kate Valley seed collection: planting advice, supply
  • Kaikoura (NCTIR) seed collection: planting advice, supply

Why Ecosourcing

Ecosourcing involves protecting biodiversity values by using appropriate native plants for an ecological area and the environmental conditions of the planting site. Plants are propagated from a representative sample of the wild population. In Canterbury, the nearest population may be some distance from your planting site. 

Ecosourcing involves detailed collection and recording procedures. These must be adhered to and can result in multiple stock line options being available for the same species.

The benefits of ecosourcing are better survival and growth of your plants, as they will be genetically adapted to your environment, and foster a pure, local genetic base. 

When ordering large quantities of plants for specific ecological districts, allow 6-18 months to allow time for seed collection and the growing of the plants.

Seed Collection

Source Identification

Our experienced seed collectors start the collection process from late December to June each year.  We target areas throughout Canterbury.

Once a species list is collated, we start the collection process with consideration for the following:

  • Remoteness from amenity planting so the chance of contamination is minimised.
  • We only select plants and trees that are robust and healthy.
  • Targets must be true-to-type for that species. 
  • Access to a number of similar targets in the area for genetic diversity.
  • Seed viability and ripeness.

Documentation and Record Keeping

Each seed species is given a code at collection time so that we can track the following:

  • Date of collection.
  • GPS Coordinates of the collection site.
  • Seed Collector.
  • What treatment the seed has needed (ie Dry stored, wet stored, or treated with fungicide).

The data sheet follows the batch of seeds from collection through to propagation and installation.  Other information, such as germination trial data, is progressively added.  We place high importance on care and maintenance of data on each batch of seeds.  This information is crucial to the integrity of our ecosourced plants. 

The seeds are then germinated to meet customer and nursery demand. We always store seed for the following years in case of bad germination seasons to ensure access to seed.