Motukarara Conservation Nursery grows Canterbury plants exclusively. View information on the nursery and how to plan and maintain a native garden.

Retail area and resource centre closed

The retail area and resource centre are currently unavailable for walk-in public access due to ongoing upgrades. If you would like to have a group visit the resource centre, contact the nursery team to arrange in advance.

Due to high demand for native plants, Motukarara Nursery is closed for over-the counter plant sales, expected to continue into 2024. 

    Motukarara Conservation Nursery and Resource Centre has established itself as a 'centre of excellence' for restoration in Canterbury. It grows Canterbury plants exclusively, with an emphasis on genetic purity. The nursery propagates around 160,000 plants each year, most of which are pre-sold for restoration projects.

    The nursery aims to increase understanding of genetic purity, ecological restoration and protection. The nursery has produced a number of resources and publications.

    Location and hours

    The nursery is within the Waihora Domain at Motukarara. It is signposted from the Christchurch-Akaroa Highway (SH75), 30 km from the centre of Christchurch.

    Monday to Friday: 8 am – 4 pm
    Public holidays: Closed between Christmas and New Years, and public holidays

    Before you visit call us to check opening times.

    There is a nursery, display garden, ethno-botanical garden, and a resource centre.

    The display garden in front of the nursery is open 24 hours and is planted with representative plantings of local plant associations found in wetlands, coastal areas and Banks Peninsula. It also has a collection of threatened plants and plants of cultural significance.

    The ethno-botanical garden - Nga Tipu Whakaoranga o Tutekawa - has been developed as a living learning toolkit. From the time they first arrived in Aotearoa/New Zealand, Māori people depended on native plants for the necessities of life - food, firewood, shelter, clothing, and medicine. Nga Tipu Whakaoranga o Tutekawa celebrates the bonds between people and plants.


    The nursery grows Canterbury plants exclusively. Seed is collected from native plants natural to different ecological areas. The seed harvest (from January to the end of June) is done in relation to restoration projects, threatened plant programmes and sales demand. 200 different species are collected from some 20 ecological sites.

    Seeds are sown until September and propagated until the end of December. From January to April the seedlings are conditioned for the autumn or spring planting. Most of the production is on a yearly cycle, but some will take two to three years. Most of the 160,000 plants produced are grown in small pots or RX pots.


    Motukarara Native Plant Nursery
    Phone:   +64 3 329 7846
    Fax:   +64 3 329 7041
    Address:   Waihora Park
    136 Park Rd
    Christchurch 7672
    Postal Address:   RD 2
    Christchurch 7672
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