The New Zealand Rhododendron Association Inc. or NZRA was formed in 1944 The Association was incorporated in August 1945. The objects of the new Association were:-
To act as a common meeting ground for Rhododendron enthusiasts and
To encourage the cultivation, the study and the improvement of Rhododendrons by such means as the Association see fit.
|1940s (early)||Sir Geoffrey Peren, Principal of Massey Agricultural College suggests to the College Arboretum Committee that a Rhododendron Association be formed. Members were Prof. Peren, Dame Elizabeth Knox-Gilmour, Mr WD Cook, Mr VC Davies, and Dr JS Yeates.|
|10/8/1944||Professor Peren called a special meeting at which the motion 'that a New Zealand Rhododendron Association be formed by those present' was passed unanimously. Provisional officers were WD Cook as Chairman & JS Yeates as secretary/treasurer.|
|6/9/1944||Letter sent out to prospective members|
|4/10/1944||First Annual General Meeting. Mr Edgar Stead elected first President, Prof. GS Peren Chairman and Dr JS Yeates Secretary/Treasurer. Adoption of first rules. JS Edmonstone offered to attend to drafting rules, pre-incorporation.|
|4/8/1945||Certificate of Incorporation|
|1947||Post war food parcels sent to RHS staff|
|1948||The Botanical Department of Massey College undertook to grow (on it's own grounds) plants for distribution to members which was a major NZRA function for nearly thirty years. Sources were Edgar Stead's collection, seed imported from RBGE, United Kingdom garden collections, Pacific Northwest of America, and southern areas of NZ, and later the (NZRA supported) expeditions of Kingdon-Ward.|
|1949||Donation to Kingdon-Ward plant hunting Expedition to the Himalayas.|
|1950||WD Cook offers land at Pukeiti to the NZRA Council who were unable to accept, but many NZRA members were involved in the future Pukeiti Trust.|
|1951||WD Cook of Eastwoodhill, Gisborne, purchases 60 acres at Pukeiti, Taranaki. Pukeiti Rhododendron Trust established.
(Click here to go to links page)
Plant distribution commences, some with K-W numbers
|1958||International Rhododendron Register established
|1964||Rhododendron Species Foundation formed
USA seed exchange-first list published
|1967||First women on NZRA Council (elected 1966)
Tour of Pacific Northwest
Lease of one acre at Kimbolton
|1970||Purchase of land at Haggerty Street, Kimbolton.
|1971||NZRA donations over five years to further Rhododendron Species Foundation (USA).
Chalet built at Kimbolton
|1972||Tour to the United Kingdom via USA.
|1973||Additional land purchased at Kimbolton.
|1975||New Zealand Rhododendron Register established.
Philipsons publish Revision of Lapponicum Rhododendrons.
Shade House built at Kimbolton.
|1982||Award of Merit Scheme developed during period 1982-86
|1984||Equality of election - men & women to the NZRA Council.
|1986||Certificate of Affiliation to the RHS.
|1988||Calendar produced featuring rhododendrons.
|1992||NZRA Council receives advice from the Ministry of Ag & Fish diagnostic station that a consignment of cuttings ex Scotland had been destroyed because of the presence of a powdery mildew fungus unknown to NZ.
|1994||Notecards produced featuring NZ bred AM rhododendrons.
Dame Catherine Tizard opens new gates at Kimbolton Garden.
Hilary Commission ceases funding for Bulletin.
|1997||Affiliation of Regional Rhododendron Groups (RHS model).
Association ceased employment of professional secretary/treasurer.
|1998||'Crossing the Rubicon', a handbook of NZ raised rhododendrons published by Canterbury Rhododendron Society.
|1999||Kimbolton Garden receives official name. 'Heritage Park, Kimbolton, the National Garden of the New Zealand Rhododendron Association'.
Second series of Notecards published.
NZRA Strategic Plan published
|2004||New Zealand Rhododendron Association 60th Jubilee.
New Zealand Rhododendron Association website set up. (www.rhododendron.org.nz)
|2005||Referendum of membership in favour of setting up Heritage Park
as an independent trust.
New Zealand Rhododendron Association rewritten rules adopted at AGM
|2006||Heritage Park set up as an independent trust.|
|2008||NZRA registered as a Charitable Organisation|
|2011||Frank Kingdon-Ward letters archived with the Hocken Library, University of Otago|
|2013||Joint annual publication of The Rhododendron with Pukeiti Rhododendron Trust|
|2014||NZRA website redesigned.|
|2014||International Rhododendron Conference held in Dunedin - NZRA's 70th Jubilee.|
|2016||Major progress on the Species Conservation project. Cuttings obtained from a
|2016||Transition from trial based NZ hybrid project to the conservation of endangered and
little known NZ hybrids.
|2017||Promotional brochure distributed to nurseries|
|2017||NZRA Facebook page set up.|
|2018||NZRA managed the sale of the Ken Cox book 'Woodland Gardening'|
|2018||NZ now part of the International Rhododendron Conservation Consortium.|
|2019||Laptops purchased for NZRA Treasurer and Secretary.|
|2019||Two vireya species confirmed in Australia using DNA technology. NZRA helped with
|2019||Rebranding - The term 'Conference' replaced with 'Rhodenza'.|
|2020||Planned Timaru Rhodenza cancelled due to Covid pandemic. AGM held via email
|2020||Council meetings changed from teleconferencing to SKYPE. No face to face Council
|2021||Rhodenza Taranaki cancelled at the last minute due to Covid pandemic. No face to
face Council meeting.
|2022||Sue Gardiner's role on the Pukeiti Trust now includes NZRA liaison person with Pukeiti|