Plant and Food Research
It’s a huge challenge to conserve and restore kauri and native plants vulnerable to myrtle rust for future generations.
It requires knowledge of multiple stages of the life histories of the plants, which, in the case of kauri, pōhutukawa, and some species of rātā, needs to take account of them living potentially for many hundreds of years and regenerating naturally only after major disturbance events.
Importantly, conserving and restoring these taonga requires a Te Ao Māori world view and appropriate governance arrangements over the whenua – not just where adult plants grow but also where they can potentially regenerate. It requires a Te Ao Māori world view about if and where ex situ cultivation is appropriate to secure these taonga.”
Working from a pathogen host and ecosystem point of view, this investment incorporates conservation biology principles to make sure susceptible plant species survive myrtle rust and kauri dieback in Aotearoa.
The team aims to:
Projects will include work on the landscape genomics of kauri, building on the excellent mahi (work) from the Healthy Trees, Healthy Futures programme.