The Seed

The Seed came about from Te Kākano’s desire to assist other communities in setting up their own plant nursery for local native habitat restoration. Our founding trustees started with an idea, got a group of people working together and registered Te Kākano as a charitable organisation. We’ve learned a lot during our set-up process and continue to learn every day with our operations.

Resource Booklet

Our resource booklet contains useful information on: capturing your idea, organising your start up and developing your operations. Everyone’s ideas and projects are different, so this booklet is not necessarily instructive. It simply poses some questions that we’ve had to ask ourselves along the way.

On-The-Go Advice

We offer personalised and online support to assist you in your journey. The seed is all about people and we would love to help you.


To help mitigate the effects of climate change and assist the community to adapt to those effects it is essential to have resilient native ecosystems. Research has shown that Central Otago’s biodiversity was once more complex than the grasslands that currently exist.

A 2002 study showed that the Central Otago District has lost more of its biodiversity and has the least protected areas of any of the 73 districts in the country. A 2005 report stated that 80% of the Acutely and Chronically Threatened vascular plants of inland Central Otago District occur in the lowland and montane zones of the district.

Organisations that have grown from The Seed…

Mokihi Reforestation Trust

The Mōkihi Reforestation Trust

The Mōkihi Trust was formed in early 2016 after a series of public meetings of people interested in ecological restoration in and around Cromwell. A scoping study was carried out during 2015 to gauge the interest in forming a group similar to the highly successful Te Kākano group in Wanaka. This study was funded by Te Kākano (Maori for “The Seed”) via a generous grant from the Central Otago Pinot Noir Charitable Trust – a Central Otago Winegrowers initiative that supports local community groups.

The name Mōkihi was selected for the Cromwell based group as it is the Maōri word for a flax raft. This suitably ties in with one of the aims of Te Kākano of floating “The Seed” down the Clutha River (Mata-Au) to downstream communities interested in native habitat restoration. Interestingly, the first European to arrive in the Upper Clutha and Cromwell areas in September 1953 was Nathanael Chalmers, who after falling ill was floated down the Clutha in a Mōkihi by his Maōri guides.

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The Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust

This trust was formed from the Clyde Railhead Community Nursery which was an initiative of Making a Difference for Central Otago (MAD4CO), the Sustainable Living Programme of the Central Otago Rural Education Activities Programme (COREAP).

The name is Te Reo for Leaning Rock – its literal meaning is “first to greet the dawn”. The nursery originally operated in a small part of the Department of Conservation (DoC) Nursery at Clyde. In 2015, DoC made the entire nursery available to MAD4CO and in 2016 the Community Nursery started planning in earnest.

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