In 2017 HBLP successfully applied to the Erosion Control Funding Programme for a two-year project called ‘Optimising Kānuka Production’. With so much kānuka growing on local land blocks, it made sense to find out more about kānuka as both an environmental asset and an economic opportunity.
Kānuka is a pioneer species, one of the first natives to grow on cleared or disturbed land, which makes it a key part of any response to erosion. The bioactive compounds in kānuka are also potentially valuable for their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Our project, ‘Optimising Kānuka Production’, was designed so that landowners, hapū and businesses interested in creating opportunities with kānuka would have credible and scientifically rigorous knowledge to guide their decisions and planning.
Kānuka Handbook is a compilation of what HBLP has learned about kānuka, along with contributions by experts who share our passion for this amazing plant. We are grateful to the Ministry for Primary Industries, who not only funded ‘Optimising Kānuka Production’ but have also supported the publication of this booklet, intended for landowners who want to know more about kānuka and its ecological and economic value, and why kānuka should no longer be seen as scrub but as a taonga.