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Horticulture programmes at NorthTec have received a boost with the opening of a new, purpose-built facility at the Future Trades Campus in Whangarei.
The new Horticulture Precinct at the campus in Dyer Street was officially opened on Friday, 6 November, with a ceremony attended by staff and students.
A kōwhai tree was planted by NorthTec kaumātua, Hohepa Rudolph, and Te Parawhau kaumātua Fred Tito, with the assistance of horticulture tutor, Jamie Hancox, and student Jazz Penney.
The kaumātua blessed a colourful mural featuring native tui perching in a kōwhai tree, painted by former student, Debbie Lomas. Two carvings - a kaitiaki created by sustainable rural development student, Reagan Anderson, and a pou carved by a group of NorthTec Māori arts students, were also blessed.
The new Horticulture Precinct consists of propagation areas, a nursery area, shade house and classroom spaces, as well as implement sheds. There is also an orchard, riparian planting area, vegetable plots and Māori gardens.
The facility was put together by NorthTec horticultural staff led by Jamie Hancox and Bernadette Vido, with help from students from the horticulture and sustainable rural development programmes.
NorthTec Primary Industries Programme Leader, Andrew McCulloch, said the new precinct provided modern facilities and introduced students to industry-standard propagation and nursery facilities. “It will have a diverse range of uses, and gives our students a taste of the different aspects of horticulture, from fruit production to Māori gardens,” he said.
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