Dr James Millner
School of Agriculture and Environment, Massey University
James has a PhD and Master’s degree in Agricultural Science from Massey University. His PhD in forestry looked at the early growth and wood characteristics of eucalypt species on hill country micro-sites. James was part of the Mānuka Primary Growth Partnership Programme, which aimed to increase production of high-value mānuka honey through the establishment of hill country plantations. For the Hill Country Futures project, James and his postgraduate team will assess the potential for using native shrubs on hill country farms.
“We will trial a range of native shrubs on several sites in the Manawatū and Hawke’s Bay regions to assess their establishment, growth and forage value. Many farmers are interested in the potential use of native shrubs on steep erosion-prone hill country. Examples of potential economic benefits are forage production, sequestration of carbon and farm tourism. Traditional Maori knowledge and use of these species is also a key aspect of the research. The species include Houhere, Pāpāuma, Karo, Karamū, Whauwhaupaku, Māhoe and Taupata.”