Friday, 27 October - Monday, 30 October, 2017

Civic Centre Feilding


Heritage Park Rhododendron Charitable Trust, on behalf of the New Zealand Rhododendron Association, invite you to attend the 2017 Annual Conference. This invitation is extended to all NZRA members, overseas rhododendron group members and residents of the Manawatu.

A range of gardens have been selected for your enjoyment and we are most grateful to the garden owners for their participation in this event.

Bloom Display.

The bloom display will be located in the Feilding Civic Centre and we encourage you to bring blooms to add to the display, from 1.00 pm on Friday. Labels will be provided. It will be open to view from 6.00 pm Friday until Sunday evening and is open to the public from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm on Saturday.

Free evening. The evening of Saturday, 28 October, is free of official commitments. There is a range of eating places available in Feilding and outlying areas.

Additional/optional activities. On Friday morning there is a weekly Farmers’ Market in the Feilding Town Square which has a wide range of produce and goods for sale. Also on Friday morning you can arrange a tour of the large, internationally known saleyards, with a sale in progress, by contacting the Feilding Information Centre.

Weather Conditions. As is usual at this time of the year, the weather may be unsettled and we recommend warm clothing, wet weather gear and sturdy footwear.

Safety. Every effort has been made to ensure gardens and coach stopping points are safe. It is a condition of registration that you assume responsibility for your own safety and possessions during the Conference. Paths may be uneven and a walking stick is recommended if you need this assistance.

Transport: Coaches will collect from the listed accommodation at 5.30 Friday evening for registration and dinner at the Feilding Civic Centre. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings registrants staying in the listed accommodation will be collected from their motel each day and taken to the departure point at the Civic Centre. This will be reversed at the end of the day on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday night buses will again collect from the listed accommodation for the Conference dinner at the Civic Centre. On Monday coaches will leave from ‘Omahuri’ to go to Palmerston North airport and Feilding Civic Centre.


There is a 300m walk to access a garden on Monday. Please indicate on the Registration Form if you require car transport for this distance.

Transport from Palmerston North Airport. There are regular shuttles to Feilding available and we will notify them as to the number coming in on each flight.



South Street West Motel.
Address: 61 South Street, Feilding Feilding
Contact Name: Pauline
Phone: 06 323 1811 Fax: 06 323 1814
Email:            Website:
Tariff: From $140 for 1-2 people per night. Sleeps 83. The motel is block booked until the end of March. Let them know it is a booking for the NZRA Conference as this affects the room rates.

Feilding Motel.

Address: 7 Kimbolton Road Feilding
Contact Name: Murray & Val
Phone: 06 323 6837 Fax: 06 323 5892
Email:                Website:

Sleeps 50. Tariff from $95 -$120 for up to two people, extra adult $20. The block booking extends to the end of June.

Manfeild Park Motel.

Address: 1 Fergusson Street Feilding
Contact Name: Dion & Wendy
Phone: 06 323 8761 Fax: 06 323 3821
Email:          Website:
Sleeps 50 Studios from $120, Family units from $150. The block booking extends to the end of June.

Raceway Court Motel,
20 Awahuri Rd,
Contact           Paul & Sharon,
Phone: 06 323 78914  Fax:  06 323 7891
Email  Website

Please telephone or email when making an early reservation as the on-line prices will not necessarily apply and it will appear there are no vacancies because of the block booking .



Programme Summary

Friday Oct 27

 9.00 am  
11.00 am  
1.00 pm  
3.00 pm  
6.30 pm  
7.30 pm  

Feilding Farmer’s Market Optional
Feilding Sale-yards Tour Optional
Bloom display set up - Feilding Civic Centre
 Registrations commence - Feilding Civic Centre
 ‘Meet & Greet’ and evening meal
Official Opening
Saturday  Oct 28
Group A

          Group B 

          Both Groups
          Group A

          Group B

          Both Groups
9.00 am
10.00 am
10.40 am
10.00 am
11.00 am

 1.00 pm
2.15 pm
1.00 pm
2.05 pm

4.00 pm
Coaches depart for ‘Puketawa’
Depart for the Wind Farm
Depart for ‘Springvale’
Depart for ‘Tiro Roa’
Depart for “Springvale”
Boxed lunch at ‘Springvale’
Depart for ‘Tiro Roa’
Depart for ‘Greenhaugh’
Depart for the Wind Farm
Depart for ‘Greenhaugh’
Afternoon Tea at ‘Greenhaugh’
Depart for Feilding

Sunday Oct 29

8.30 am
10.00 am
10.45 am
12.30 pm
1.15 pm
 3.00 pm

4.30 pm
5.15 pm
Guest Speakers and Pruning Workshop, Feilding Civic Centre
NZRA Annual General Meeting
Depart for ‘Heritage Park’ 
Lunch at ‘Heritage Park’
Depart for ‘Cross Hills’
Depart for ‘AK Ranch’
Afternoon Tea at ‘AK Ranch’
Depart for Feilding
Arrive Feilding
Conference Dinner at the Feilding Civic Centre
Monday  Oct 30
Group A

Group B

Groups A & B

9.00 am
10.30 am
 9.00 am
10.30 am

11.30 am
12.00 noon
2.00 pm
2.00 pm

Depart for 'Chatswood’
Depart for ‘Lansdale’
Depart for ‘Lansdale’
Depart for 'Chatswood'

Depart for 'Omahuri'
Lunch at ‘Omahuri’
Depart for Palmerston North Airport
Depart for Feilding Civic Centre




987 Colyton Road, Feilding
Ross and Jackie Whitelock
The garden that is called ' Puketawa ' was originally purchased by Nelson and Phyllis Whitelock in 1972. In those days the four hectares of native bush was unfenced and open for stock to graze as part of a bigger farm. In 1973 Nelson fenced off the bush to stock and planted some Redwood trees in a clearing. In 1995 six hectares was surveyed off and placed under a QE2 covenant for protection. Soaring Nikau Palms, Tawa, Redwoods and other forest giants provide the canopy, while silver ferns and Kawakawa have filled the undergrowth. A house was then built to create the lifestyle that is now ‘Puketawa’. Over the following three or four years Nelson and Phyllis landscaped the property guided by the late Palmerston North landscape architect David Irvine. In 2008 the property was sold to their son Ross and his wife Jackie. Ross and Jackie together have carried on tending the property and have endeavoured to put their own style into the visual appearance of the garden.

2180 Pohangina Valley East Road, Komako
Brent and Liz Besley
Bird life is prolific in this sprawling garden. Features include a rhododendron and campanulata cherry border planted by the original English gardeners 100 years ago. Four further generations have made their mark. Plantings include azaleas and rhododendrons, conifers and deciduous trees. Chatham Island forget-me-nots are planted beneath towering totaras and beech trees. Many of the specimens have been named with the year of planting to further contribute to the history of this property. Even the fish pond has its history - old black and white photos show local families using it as a swimming pool.


Te Apiti Wind Farm
Te Apiti Wind Farm is located on 1150 hectares of farmland and is the first wind farm built by Meridian in New Zealand.
The wind near the Manawatu Gorge is exceptional, even by international standards. The strong, unimpeded winds from the Tasman Sea and the funnel effect of the Manawatu Gorge make this the perfect place for a wind farm.
Twenty-one kilometres of roads were built to transport the turbine parts and fifty-five foundations were excavated for the turbines which were installed by a 400 tonne crawler.
Te Apiti Wind Farm generates enough electricity each year for about 39,000 average New Zealand homes.

‘Tiro Roa’ Gardens and Nursery
1116 Pohangina Road, Pohangina
Steve and Dee Edwards
A lovely cottage garden set against the stunning backdrop of the Ruahine Ranges and overlooking the green terraces of the Pohangina Valley. There are mature trees, a small stream, bird house, garden seats and a pond. Borders line the gardens, with hundreds of different varieties of perennials, most of which are available for sale in the on-site nursery.


Greenhaugh Gardens
914 Napier Road, Palmerston North
Lynne Atkins
A Garden of National Significance, Greenhaugh Gardens surround a colonial homestead built in 1874. The two hectare semi-formal gardens have been developed over the past thirty eight years. Old roses, perennials, self-seeding annuals and bulbs are restrained by box hedging closer to the house. Shell rock paths lead through the pergola to the more informal water and woodland gardens. Each season boasts its own display and always there is much to see. Enjoy views of the surrounding fields where the donkey, horse and sheep graze. Plants for cash sale in the plant nursery - many rare and unusual


Heritage Park Rhododendron Garden
Haggerty Street, Kimbolton
Heritage Park Rhododendron Charitable Trust
This magnificent garden contains about 2000 rhododendrons, trees and shrubs. Enjoy lawn areas, interlinking ponds, heritage rhododendrons from around the world, older New Zealand hybrids and unique deciduous azaleas. This park has an ever evolving landscape and fascinating history.



Cross Hills Gardens and Nursery
339 Rangiwahia Rd, Kimbolton
Rodney and Faith Wilson
A park-like garden that features one of the world’s finest collections rhododendrons and azaleas, with over 2,000 varieties. Many other rare trees, shrubs and perennials have been planted to add interest to all seasons and provide a colourful and vibrant display. An on-site maze gives children, and the young at heart, hours of fun!

AK Ranch
459 Terrace Road, RD 7, Feilding
Alistair and Kay Milne
34 years ago the one hectare garden and 0.8 km drive was a bare paddock. John and Francis McColl started developing the garden in 1982 with a mostly deciduous tree lined drive and landscaped garden. A variety of conifers, oaks, gums, maples, and birches with an understory of camellias, (140 before we cut some out)rhododendrons, large rocks, rambling roses, etc. were planted, including some rare and unusual specimens.
We bought the farm in 2006 and started overhauling areas which had become overgrown. The re-development is ongoing with natives, deciduous and evergreen azaleas, annual/perennial borders, garden art, fruit trees and vegetable gardens being added to the mix.

126 Karere Road, Kairanga
Robin Tanner
An expansive park-like garden originally designed in 1912 by Buxton, an English landscape gardener from Christchurch. Large oaks, elms, horse chestnut, plane, ash and sequoias in this five acre garden are over 100 years old. Admire the cascading water feature, and walk over the many bridges which link the gardens and lakes. Tuis, grey herons and kingfishers are regular visitors to the garden.



1416 Kairanga Bunnythorpe Road, Kairanga
Bruce and Sandra Wilson
Be impressed by the extensive potager garden, rows of olive trees and lavender beds, oak and hazelnut plantings, herbaceous borders, heritage roses, gazebos, small oriental garden, woodland areas, a classically designed labyrinth, orchard with its beehives, plant nursery and a composting area. The extensive formal and informal area blend together effectively, as do the ornamental and productive plantings.




115 Staces Road, Aokautere, Palmerston North
Lindsay and Sue Davies
Sue and Lindsay describe their 10 acre property as “a place of young trees”, despite owning the garden for thirty years. The drive features a bank of double azaleas which have been raised by Sue. The house garden is intensively planted with trees, rhododendrons, bulbs and perennials and includes specimens of rhododendrons which Sue has hybridized and grown. There are views of the garden from every window in the house.
Two ‘blocks’ of the property have been intensively planted with rhododendron species and there are many mature trees, some of which are planted as hedges.
A native tree area is being developed by Lindsay and Sue’s latest project is a pond in the same area.


Graham Smith
“New Zealand’s Heritage Gardens-Repositories of the Past, Present and Future”
Graham will use Gwavas Woodland Garden as an example.

Andrew Brooker
“What grows blooming well for you…” A powerpoint presentation of favourite rhododendrons, selected by Trial Committee members in different parts of the country.

Workshop Demonstration

Andrew Brooker
Pruning rhododendrons


On Sunday night there will be an auction of rhododendrons which have been especially propagated for the Conference by Sue Davies, including a mystery collector’s item.




A sales table will be available at the Conference venue and it includes rhododendron species sourced from gardens throughout New Zealand, as part of the NZRA conservation programme. Cash/cheque sales only as there are no eftpos facilities available.


  • 4 Flames

  • The Strong Room

  • Essence

  • Mekong (Thai)

  • Amayjen

  • The Drover’s Return

There is also a wide range of take away outlets.


Your registration form can be downloaded (click here) or register online (click here) . Please remember to take a copy for your own records.

The registration fee covers Opening function, all lunches, morning and afternoon teas and Conference Dinner.

Dietary requirements - If you have special dietary requirements please ensure they are fully spelled out on the registration form.

Accommodation - You are urged to make your accommodation booking as soon as you can.



Contact Information

Conference Registrar:  Chris Wilson, 17 Tawa Street, Te Kuiti, 3910       E-mail: