[3 June/Stuff]

A free manuka seedling offer was so popular it was almost 200 percent oversubscribed. Manuka Farming New Zealand offered 1.8 million seedlings to landowners. Applications had been made for 5.2 million. MFNZ General Manager, Stephen Lee, said interest was overwhelming and they had the task of assessing potential plantations from Northland to Te Anau. There was no maximum limit on the size of potential plantation sites, however larger ones were more suitable as they produce higher quality manuka honey. A condition of the offer was that landowners had to be ready and committed to planting the seedlings in 2018. Final decisions on which landowners would be offered seedlings would take a few weeks. Wellington Beekeepers Association President, Frank Lindsay, said beekeeping’s popularity had exploded due to the global spike in demand for manuka honey.