Issue 7 May 2010 ISSN

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1 Issue 7 May 2010 ISSN

2 Project Leader s Update It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. So said Charles Dickens and it well describes the Greening Waipara (GW) project in This newsletter catalogues the best: all the exciting recent and current activities in the project and shows the richness of research, extension Project Leader Prof. Steve Wratten and Dr Samantha Scarratt collecting insects in a vineyard. and funding that drives it. The benefit of Greening Waipara to the participating properties is clear, and for the five properties (four vineyards and Omihi School) with a biodiversity trail, the work of Jean Tompkins (page 3) illustrates this value in tangible ways. Adding value to a vineyard s production through ecological approaches has a strong supporting literature, although our trails remain unique.* Within and outside New Zealand, Greening Waipara continues to be unique even in such high profile wine regions as the Napa Valley in California, Bordeaux in France or Rioja in Spain, you won t find vineyard biodiversity trails. In February this year I was hosted by the Oregon Wine Symposium, Oregon State University and the University of Kentucky, to give presentations and collaborate with researchers and winegrowers about what? Greening Waipara and its successes. The New Zealand government, through the FRST LINX 0303 programme, co-funded this work, along with related research in arable and pastoral farming (Lincoln University Dairy Farm) and the team s work was ranked top of 15 ecosystem projects funded by FRST over that period. We have not been idle in seeking supporting funding and the work of the Christchurch City Council and the Waipara community has led to the Great Wine Capitals success. Also, driven strongly by Omihi Creek Cassis through Mark and Louise Eder, a long-term partnership with Four Leaf Japan Co., Ltd has developed still further. Our Four Leaf friends are frequent visitors to Waipara and we always have fun celebrating our joint successes. Marlborough, too, is interested in developing similar biodiversity activities, to help keep New Zealand wine s green credentials meaningful, but attempts at securing funding from FRST and the Sustainable Farming Fund to extend the Waipara successes to Marlborough and beyond have not been successful. That was the worst of times in the last year for the project. Remember, one strip of buckwheat every ten vine rows can save $250/ha/year in pesticide and labour costs and under-vine mulches can bring botrytis levels below the need for spraying, saving a further $750/ha/year. All vineyard regions in New Zealand and Australia are using the Greening Waipara buckwheat protocols. Connected with this is the fact New Zealand ran out of seeds of this plant in late 2009! With outcomes like these, not to mention pioneering involvement of Māori and novel uses of native New Zealand plants and nearly 60 participating Waipara properties, it s great that we continue to be funded by our committed friends Four Leaf and the Hurunui 2

3 The Four Leaf Japan Co., Ltd delegation at the launch of the Omihi School biodiversity trail. District Council. I don t think Greening Waipara will die this newsletter gives plenty of reasons why that is unlikely but the Waipara community needs to decide what it aspires to for the future and how best to fund it to meet the community s aspirations to keep GW going. Hei oranga whenua Nurture the land Steve Wratten, Bio-Protection Research Centre, Lincoln University, * See Hall, C.M., Longo, A.M., Sharples, B. and Macionis, R (eds.) Wine Tourism Around the World: Development, management and markets Butterworth Heinemann, New Zealand s South Island becomes a Great Wine Capital Christchurch/Southern New Zealand has recently been selected to represent New Zealand as the newest member of the prestigious Great Wine Capitals (GWC) global network. This is an international network of major wine-producing regions which aims to promote tourism, education and business exchange. The other eight members are Bordeaux, Cape Town, Florence, Mainz, Mendoza, Porto, Bilbao-Rioja and San Francisco-Napa Valley only one wine region in each country can become a Great Wine Capital. The Christchurch/Southern New Zealand wine region includes Canterbury, the Waipara Valley, Marlborough and Central Otago, with Christchurch being the international gateway to these regions. The Christchurch City Council led the bid to join the international network, provided valuable support and led the visiting judging group along the Greening Waipara biodiversity trails that certainly impressed the judges, meeting the education criterion. None of the other GWC has such trails or region-wide Greening programmes so Waipara leads again. Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says the South Island s selection is a great opportunity to attract tourism to the region, develop international markets for our world-class wines and is a great example of South Island regional partners working together to achieve top results. For more information visit and 3

4 New biodiversity trail for Omihi Pr Omihi Primary School is undergoing a biodiversity makeover as part of the Greening Waipara Project and has kicked off 2010 with the completion of stage one of the school s biodiversity trail. The trail has been funded through the generous support of Four Leaf Japan Co., Ltd. School students and staff recently participated in a workshop with Greening Waipara landscape architect, Alayna Renata of MWH. Alayna did her Landscape Architecture degree at Lincoln University and has been involved in Greening Waipara since its inception.the biodiversity trail workshop focused on educating the students about the importance of the services of nature and restoration ecology. Students were encouraged to think like a landscape architect for the day and undertook site analysis investigations around the school grounds before completing individual biodiversity trail designs. Common themes present amongst the children s concept designs included planting trees which encourage the return of native birds and insects, creation of outdoor classroom spaces and the inclusion of shaded play areas. Alayna then compiled the students plans and incorporated their ideas into an overall concept for Omihi Primary School. The final concept design package consists of six stages, which will be implemented over the next few years. Stage one was planted on 20 January 2010 by the students and Four Leaf employees. A crowd of about 100 people was present at the launch and planting, including Hurunui District mayor Garry Jackson, National MP Colin King, local media representatives and parents. Students help visitors from Four Leaf plant native shrubs and groundcovers on the first section of the biodiversity trail. Dale McEntee and Kaikoura MP Colin King look on. Omihi Primary School principal Ms Tr the launch of the school s new biodiv 4

5 imary School The enthusiasm of Omihi Primary School staff and students, the Eder family and Four Leaf Japan Co., Ltd has ensured that another 250 native plants are safely in the ground. This new biodiversity trail project is yet another positive step towards restoring biodiversity in the Waipara Valley and raising environmental awareness among the current next generation. acey Mora addresses the crowd at ersity trail. Butterfly booklet available Greening Waipara s most recent publication, Enhancing native butterfly populations in the Waipara Valley is an illustrated booklet detailing the research carried out to date by Mark Gillespie, a PhD student working within the Greening Waipara project as part of the Bio-Protection Research Centre. Mark was the inaugural recipient of the Environment Canterbury Canterbury Biodiversity Postgraduate Scholarship earlier this year. Agriculture, including viticulture, damages biodiversity through reduction of habitat and has probably caused major declines in New Zealand s butterfly populations. Butterflies are charismatic insects, instantly recognised by young and old alike, therefore providing an important aesthetic nature s service. Butterflies are also sensitive bio-indicators of environmental health and their iconic image is often used for marketing purposes. Mark is examining the factors influencing the remaining butterfly populations in Waipara and is attempting to develop grower-friendly ways of enhancing their numbers. Already, Paul Donaldson is receiving direct practical advice from Lincoln s butterfly Mark on how to increase numbers of these lovely insects at Pegasus Bay Winery. The butterfly booklet is available as a pdf from If you wish to have a hard copy mailed to you contact Annie Barnes on or 5

6 Native undervine p Bidibid (Acaena inermis) flowering under the vines at The Mud House Winery and Café Research into the use of native plants in undervine plantings has identified three species that are likely to be effective in Waipara and other vineyards. Bidibid (Acaena inermis purpurea), shore cotula (Leptinella dioica) and creeping puhuehue (Muehlenbeckia axillaris) have all demonstrated good survival and growth rates in trials run by Bio-Protection Research Centre PhD student Jean Tompkins. Jean trialled 14 native plant species, measuring their growth and survival, weed suppression and ability to provide shelter and other resources to beneficial and pest insect species. The plants effects on the quality of vineyard soil, including water content, nutrient levels and the activity of useful soil microbes were also measured. 6 Key findings for the three most successful plants after two years of work They formed a dense and spreading cover beneath the vines; eventually this will reduce the need for herbicide applications The diversity and abundance of beneficial insects and spiders increased The plants are unlikely to enhance leafroller populations in vineyards Creeping pohuehue (Muehlenbeckia axillaris foreground) growing under vines at The Mud House Winery and Café

7 lants show promising results All three plant species significantly enhanced the lifespan of parasitic wasps Soil moisture levels were increased There was reduced runoff and improved soil aggregation and porosity Conclusions and considerations Establishing native groundcovers within a vineyard increases plant and invertebrate biodiversity, can reduce weeds and improves soil quality. However, it requires a significant investment of time and capital. Native plants can be costly, and effective weed control is essential in the first couple of years. A commercially-available seed supply would make a big difference. See Greening Waipara Newsletter 4, p. 2 3 for more information on this work: Shore cotula (Leptinella dioica) 7

8 Last year the Hurunui District Council signed off on a bold new biodiversity strategy designed to ensure that the unique natural values of the district are maintained and enhanced. The new strategy is based on a non-regulatory, collaborative approach, bringing together the council, landowners and other parties and is being actioned through a Joint Partnership Agreement between the Council and the Greening Waipara project under the banner Biodiversity Ambassador Dale McEntee has been appointed thanks to a grant from central government s Biodiversity Advice Fund. Following the move of former Greening Waipara Biodiversity Ambassador Gianni Prencipe to Little River, Dale has also picked up the reins in the Greening Waipara Biodiversity Ambassador role. Hurunui District Council Biodiversity Ambassador Dale McEntee. Dale is available to provide free advice and assistance to the Hurunui rural community, including information on where to go for project funding. Several funds are currently calling for applications, so if you have an idea, contact Dale (see page 16) who can help with the application process and will coordinate your project under the Greening Waipara umbrella. Biodiversity at Work ve Below: Dale and the new recent Greening Waipara 8

9 s new, Fund and details New Zealand Game Bird Habitat Trust wetland enhancement E-Can Environmental Enhancement Fund your-land/biodiversity-land-restoration/pages/funding.aspx Honda Tree Fund Biofunds Sustainable Farming Fund ($20,000 and under) MAF Afforestation Grant Scheme (5ha+, administered by E-Can) Hurunui Mainpower Natural Environment Fund (up to $3,000 for planting) Closing date 30 June 31 August New funding round opens June 2010 New funding round opens July October 2010 April 2011 hicle at a planting. Hurunui District Biodiversity Photos Wanted Did you snap your husband being pecked by a kea? A fantail stopping by your deck? Geckos in the scrub? The most picturesque forest? The kids playing with bullies or kokopu in a stream? Show off your artistic side and be inspired by the wide open spaces and unique native plants and animals of the Hurunui District. We are looking for images of the native biodiversity of the Hurunui region to display at the upcoming Biodiversity Express roadshow. Images need to fit the following criteria: 1. The photo must have been taken within the Hurunui District. 2. The photo must include a native species or a predominantly native landscape. A description of each photo, including where it was taken, should be included along with the entrant s name, address and phone number. photographs as an attachment to the Hurunui District Council Biodiversity Ambassador, Dale McEntee, OR Drop a print to HDC, 66 Carters Road, Amberley OR Post to: Dale McEntee, Hurunui District Council, PO Box 13, Amberley 7441, North Canterbury. Submitted images become the property of the Hurunui District Council and will be used at a regional multimedia biodiversity event in celebration of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity in October 2010 and also in other Hurunui district publicity material (full acknowledgement will be given). 9

10 Pou for Pegasus Bay Winery A Māori pou ( totem pole ) was unveiled at the start of the Pegasus Bay Biodiversity Trail in November. As a part of the Bio-Protection Research Centre s input into the project, Māori student Cynthia Pryor worked with the Ngāi Tahu whanau from Pegasus Bay Winery and local carver Tairoa Flanagan to develop and install the pou. Pou whenua are carved posts placed on the land to acknowledge the link between tangata (people) and the whenua (land). They also link tangata whenua (people of the land) with their ancestors and their tūrangawaewae (place of standing: tūranga stand or position; waewae leg or foot) or environment. The pou installed at Pegasus Bay represents both these ideas. It is a link between the vineyard owners, the Donaldson family, their history and their environment. It also represents the ancestors Ranginui, the sky father; Papatūānuku, the earth mother and Tāne Mahuta, their son. Lincoln University student Cynthia Pryor and carver Tairoa Flanagan with the new pou at the start of the Pegasus Bay Winery biodiversity trail. It is hoped that Tāne, with the guidance of his parents will stand guard over the native plants around and below the pou, to protect and nurture them. The unveiling was attended by locals as well as a delegation from Four Leaf Japan Co., Ltd, which continues to make significant financial contributions to the Greening Waipara Project. Members of the Donaldson family at the unveiling of the pou at Pegasus Bay Winery. 10

11 Ranginui The pataki (notched ridge) pattern on Ranginui is called waewae Pākura (footprint of the Pūkeko), denoting travel and seeking. Manaia (spiritual guardians, providers or protectors) on the shoulders of Tāne indicate Atuatānga or Godly status. Tāne The pataki pattern on Tāne s body is rauponga (the fern) signifying new growth, the continuum of everything. The Godstick Tāne holds is individual to him and his realm. Papatūānuku The pataki pattern on Papatūānuku is that of the ritorito, which is the new shoot of the harakeke (Phormium tenax, New Zealand flax). 11

12 Hurunui cycling and walking trails update If you enjoy cycling, walking and wine (though not necessarily all at once), then keep up to date with the Hurunui Trails Trust, the vision of which encompasses a network of pedestrian and cycle trails throughout the Hurunui district. Bottles of Waipara Trail fundraising pinot gris. The first, mainly off-road section of the trails is planned for Waipara and will incorporate a number of vineyards. The timing of its opening is dependent on fundraising. Funding for further track development is being sought through donations, sponsorship and applications to community trusts and Government. Individuals can join the Friends of the Trail Group to be informed of progress on the trails. In the future, the vineyard trail section will link up with the Greening Waipara biodiversity trails at The Mud House Winery and Café, Pegasus Bay Winery, Torlesse Wines and Waipara Springs. But where does the wine come in? The Trust has also launched a fundraising pinot gris and pinot noir, as the result of a huge community effort local vineyards and wineries donated grapes and winemaking expertise. The Waipara Trail wine is available at the Waipara Valley Farmers Market, Pukeko Junction, the Nor Wester Café in Amberley and the Hurunui Trails website (see below). Hyndman Publishing has also donated copies of the popular New Zealand Barbecue Cookbook by Simon and Alison Holst to help the cause. These books are also available at the Farmers Market. Further information is available on the Trust s website 12

13 Undervine mulches improve vineyard biodiversity and sustainability Pea straw, linseed straw and grass clipping mulches were put in place at The Mud House Winery and Café vineyard in Waipara and at Bentwood Vineyard in Tai Tapu in February 2009 and their benefits to wine growing were measured throughout the year. The most abundant small-animal groups in the mulch were springtails, vital for decomposition of plant material, and mites, which feed on fungi in the mulch. These mites may play a role in controlling botrytis as they feed on overwintering spores on grape prunings. Predators found in the mulch included rove beetles, spiders and ants. Under the mulch, invertebrate numbers were greatly increased; for example, the number of earthworms under the pea straw mulch was double that of the bare ground surrounding it. Soil benefits included increased moisture retention, greater rates of water infiltration and biological activity as well as reduced temperature variations. Vine leaves showed increased nitrogen and potassium concentrations. Further testing will be done after the 2010 harvest to measure the effect of the mulches on grape yield, brix and the incidence of botrytis. This work shows that under-vine mulching can reduce the need for irrigation and fertiliser and improve plant health, thus enhancing sustainability and potentially, market acceptance for the wines produced. This work is being carried out by Dave Malcolm, a Research Fellow funded by a Royal Society of New Zealand Teacher Fellowship and Lorena Pumariño, a visiting PhD student from the University of Zaragoza, Cataluña, north-east Spain. Professor Steve Wratten and Dr Marco Jacometti took part in and helped run the project. Dave Malcolm, RSNZ Teacher Fellow spreads linseed straw mulch under vines at the Mud House Winery and Café vineyard. 13

14 The value of a biodiversity trail to winery visitors Biodiversity Ambassador Dale McEntee demonstrates how a lizard lounge works on the Pegasus Bay biodiversity trail. Visitors from Four Leaf Japan Co., Ltd look on. Biodiversity trails are a definite plus for vineyards, according to a study by Bio- Protection Research Centre PhD student Jean Tompkins. Jean investigated winery customers perceptions and experiences of two of the Greening Waipara biodiversity trails (Pegasus Bay and Torlesse Wines), by surveying winery visitors between October 2008 and May They were asked a number of questions about the trails, including whether they knew about them before their visit, whether they enjoyed their walk and whether the trail was likely to influence their wine buying. Of the 220 respondents, about 25% had walked the biodiversity trail and the majority of these agreed that the walks had enhanced their knowledge about the value of biodiversity within the vineyard environment. Many didn t know about the trails at all, because the winery did not have adequate systems in place to inform visitors on arrival. However, once informed, around 70% were interested in going for walk. Other key findings were: 86% said that the trail added to their experience at the winery 43% said the walks made them feel more connected to the winery 22% said they were more likely to buy wine from the winery after taking the trail These finding suggest that overall, there are economic benefits to be gained from the trails. Although the majority of visitors had not been aware of the trails, most were interested once they found out. This, combined with the fact that those who did walk them found that the walk enhanced their visit, suggests that increasing awareness of the trails may create brand loyalty which in turn could positively influence post-visit wine purchasing.* 14

15 Jean Tompkins is interviewed by Alison Ballance of Radio New Zealand in the Torlesse Wines vineyard the biodiversity trail is clearly visible in the background. The motivations and experiences of winery visitors are of direct interest to those within the wine industry with regards to consumer purchasing decisions and brand loyalty. Consumer awareness of issues arising from intensive food and beverage production methods has led to a demand for sustainably produced products and this recent work has clearly indicated that wine consumers follow this trend. * See Hall, C.M., Longo, A.M., Sharples, B. and Macionis, R (eds.) Wine Tourism Around the World: Development, management and markets Butterworth Heinemann, sssssssssssssssss New PhD scholarship in partnership with Wither Hills Wither Hills, which is part of the Lion Nathan Wine Group, and the Lincoln University-based Bio-Protection Research Centre are co-funding a new, high-profile PhD programme on vinecology. The field work will be conducted on Wither Hills vineyards in Marlborough, New Zealand. The emphasis of the work will be to quantify experimentally and by using resource economics techniques, the existing nature s services in and around the vineyard. The work will then use ecological engineering techniques to enhance these services. The combination of ecological and technical training to be provided will position Ben ideally for employment in vinecology, which is the direction in which vineyards aspiring to sustainability must move. This new project will develop and build on ideas pioneered by the Greening Waipara project. Wither Hills considers sustainable viticulture to be a key part of its business and the company has already invested heavily in biodiversity protection, with a substantial (50 ha) wetland on one of its vineyards. This wetland is unique as it is one of the largest remaining wetlands in the Wairau Plains and the company maintains and enhances it through weeding and replanting of natives. The value of this wetland to Wither Hills, both from biodiversity and marketing perspectives has been largely unstudied and this will form part of the project. Ben Hancock (left), who hails from Martinborough is the recipient of the Wither Hills Bio-Protection Research Centre scholarship. He holds a B.Sc (Conservation and Ecology) from Lincoln University and an MSc (Hons) from Victoria University of Wellington and has worked on numerous ecological research projects throughout the USA and in Panama. 15

16 Contacts Prof. Steve Wratten Bio-Protection Research Centre PO Box 84 Lincoln University Lincoln 7647 New Zealand Ph: (03) Dr Colin Meurk Landcare Research PO Box 69 Lincoln 7647 New Zealand Ph: (03) Anna-Marie Barnes Bio-Protection Research Centre PO Box 84 Lincoln University Lincoln 7647 New Zealand Ph: (03) Dale McEntee Hurunui District Council Biodiversity Ambassador PO Box 13 Amberley 7441 North Canterbury New Zealand Ph: Participating properties Ardross House Artemis Estate Ball Estate Ben and Viv Kepes Bellbird Spring Brent Knight Buffy & Michael Eaton Cabal Properties Cass View Vineyard Claremont Country Estate Concorde Vineyard Dallington Downs Dancing Water Daniel Schuster Wines Ltd Dickson Vineyard Dunstaffnage Elrick Vineyard Glenmark Playcentre Glenview Farm Graeme Allen Wedge Farm Greystone Vineyards Hayden Kent Harris Wine and Food Mairehau Vineyard MacKenzie Farm McKenzie Vineyard Mt Cass Vineyard Mountford Estate Muddy Water Omihi Creek Cassis Ltd T Omihi School One Stop Turbo Shop T Pegasus Bay Winery Pernod Ricard (Camshorn) Vineyard Stroma Chapman & Nigel Wilcox Terrace Edge Vineyard and Olive Grove The Mound Weblinks NewsUpdate Funders Foundation for Research, Science and Technology Bio-Protection Research Centre Four Leaf Japan Co., Ltd Waipara Valley Winegrowers Association Waipara Promotions Association Hurunui District Council Canterbury Community Trust Kate Valley Trust PhD and Fellowship funding sources Jean Tompkins Lincoln University Doctoral Scholarship Mark Gillespie Education New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarship Environment Canterbury Canterbury Biodiversity Postgraduate Scholarship Dave Malcolm Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ) New Zealand Science, Mathematics and Techology Teacher Fellowship Front Cover: Omihi Primary School students with the concept designs they drew for the new biodiversity trail on the school grounds. T The Mud House Winery and Cafe The Old Glenmark Vicarage Three Sisters T Torlesse Wines Waiata Estate Waipara Downs Waipara Gardens Waipara Junction Garage Waipara Primary School Waipara River Estate T Waipara Springs Waipara West Waipara Railway Station Weka Pass Railway Weka River Vineyard Williams Hill Vineyard Winery Cottage *Italics denotes a vineyard property T denotes that there is a biodiversity trail at this property