Tauranga horticulturalist Mark Dean has been awarded one of the country’s highest conservation honours, the prestigious Loder Cup for 2011, Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson announced today.
“Mark has made an outstanding contribution throughout his lifetime working in the horticulture industry specialising in native flora.
“He has spent much of the past 30 years inspiring others as an advisor, teacher and role model both within the horticulture industry and in community conservation projects.
“This prestigious Cup is awarded for outstanding service and commitment to the protection of New Zealand’s native plant species.
“Mark is a conservation champion and it is a pleasure to award him the Loder Cup on the first day of Conservation Week.
“He joins other worthy recipients of this premier conservation award and it is a most fitting tribute to him for his lifetime contribution to our native plants.”
English botanist Gerald Loder donated the Loder Cup in 1926, to honour New Zealanders who work to ‘retain, investigate and cherish New Zealand’s incomparable flora’. The Minister of Conservation awards the Loder Cup each year to acknowledge achievements in flora conservation.
Mark Dean was nominated for the award by the Nursery and Garden Industry Association.
In the late 1970s, in a time when native plants did not have a high profile in ornamental horticulture, he established a nursery business which later expanded and was named Naturally Native New Zealand Plants. It became one of the country’s largest native nurseries.
Mark is currently the secretary of Trees for Survival, and chair of the Dune Restoration Trust of New Zealand. He has provided support around the country for setting up and running Maori native plant nurseries. He has been and is currently supporting a number of iwi and hapu projects.