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  1. This is an intelligent piece from Newsroom’s Farah Hancock. Quite apart from how Manuka came to be considered a tree, and why shrubs are part of the Government’s Billion *Trees* programme, it also says something about the wisdom of the hasty Government ‘picking winners’ strategy. Quoting Unitec associate professor Peter de Lange and University of Otago associate professor Doctor Janice Lord the article raises some interesting issues we haven’t considered much. Here’s the gist of it: “Mānuka honey as an industry is going to make us quite a lot of money but in fact there are chemical compounds, essential oils in particular, that are way, way more valuable than mānuka honey.” “We know chemically there are very distinct chemical races of mānuka throughout the country and these chemicals have a lot of potential as medicine and industrial use. If you hybridise that you are going to lose that potency.” “There still could be properties found in different types of mānuka in different parts in the country and you wouldn’t want to lose that genetic resource by too hastily planting what’s considered the best mānuka at the moment into areas where there is wild mānuka.” So is the drive for a fast buck despoiling the future? You can read the full article here; https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/10/18/282086/fears-billion-trees-drive-could-dilute-mnuka-properties?preview=1
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