Curator Update

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN! We are currently searching for the next Curator of Eastwoodhill Arboretum. See below for more information on this exciting opportunity to be involved in the future of Eastwoodhill.


VACANCY: Curator – Eastwoodhill Arboretum, Gisborne


It’s all about the trees!


Nestled in Ngatapa, 25kms from Gisborne, Eastwoodhill Arboretum is the National Arboretum of New Zealand. It is one of the region’s premier destinations. We care for a diverse range of northern hemisphere trees and our philosophy is to maintain this as the largest collection of its kind in the southern hemisphere.  

This is an opportunity to join the Eastwoodhill team and continue the great work of Douglas Cook who created this unique asset for Gisborne, New Zealand and all who visit from around the world. 

The role’s primary focus is on the tree collection, to support the education and promotion of Eastwoodhill to the wider community.

We are looking for a self-motivated, confident and adaptable individual who has experience working in an arboretum and taking care of large gardens. It is important to us that this person has managed mature trees and has propagation planning experience.

Reporting to the Manager, the successful candidate will be tasked with preserving, maintaining and developing the Arboretum, with reference to the One Hundred Year Plan for Eastwoodhill Arboretum. They will have access to support and further expertise provided by the Board and the Curatorial Advisory Panel.

This is a challenging and varied role for someone who is looking to take on responsibility and make a positive contribution to this special place while building on their career and developing their skills and knowledge. 


Our ideal candidate will have:

·        A tertiary qualification in a relevant field.

·        Established networks with industry partners.

·        Confidence to speak in public to visitors, groups and stakeholders.

·        An ability to plan, set objectives and meet deadlines.

·        Motivation to work unsupervised and provide leadership to the team.

·        Excellent interpersonal skills.

·        Demonstrated expertise in research.


Eastwoodhill Arboretum is staffed by a lively and passionate group of staff and volunteers who along with the Board work closely to deliver a world-class experience to all those who visit.

Comfortable accommodation is provided on site with a five-bedroom, two-bathroom home. There is a primary school close by located in Ngatapa (yrs 1-8) and a school bus service into Gisborne for Intermediate and high schools.


The job description and the employment application can be provided on request, but in any case, they will be provided as applications are received. 

BDO Gisborne are managing the recruitment and questions can be directed to Linda Paulson, HR Consultant via email or phone (+64) 21 2889921. Applications should include a letter of introduction, an updated CV and a copy of both sides of your driver’s licence. 


Closing date: 25th February 2019







From where I am sitting on the back lawn at the homestead, gazing across Wee Flat to the young Tree Cathedral plantings on Little Flat, the thought that goes through my mind is how wonderful that the developing trees of the Cathedral (Redwood, Dawn redwood, Linden, Ginkgo, Red Maple) have put on an impressive amount of healthy growth over the previous two years. Out of a total 135 trees there has been just one casualty - a Sequoia, which has been replaced. The Redwoods (Sequoia-single clone) which form the central pillars, quarter the size of the other species when planted, have now uniformly caught up in height and will soon be the dominant species. Dan Taylor has done a great job training and tending the juvenile trees which are looking excellent.

We have enhanced the beauty of the entrance drive with more plantings of flowering trees and shrubs such as Camellias, Magnolias and their relatives. Three recently purchased Magnolia campbellii ‘Rob Bayly’ have special significance to the history of Eastwoodhill. We prioritised planting a large number of trees and shrubs this season. Approximately 400 were planted—the target was 500 which was reduced because of watering requirements by staff during the coming summer. Many of the potted trees which languished in the shade house for years are still remarkably healthy. They have been chosen for rarity, ecozone replacement or erosion control. The bareroot trees came from Appleton’s trees (in exchange for seed collecting). Other trees were propagated by myself (some by Dan Taylor) or sourced from various nurseries/collectors. Cabbage Tree Avenue had a few casualties last year and has now been replanted. All ten Wollemi pines are thriving (two replaced), so here’s hoping.

The playground continues to be very popular with families, young and old alike! A fresh protective layer of bark has been spread on the ground around the playing structures for health and safety purposes. Several new plantings have been added to enhance the beauty of the area and to try and stabilise the relatively steep slopes. The tubular slide, which is still under warrantee, required a malfunctioning section to be replaced which has been completed. New outdoor lights designed by Dan King at Architects 44 have been installed either side of the playground access ramp-they look beautiful shining up into the trees.

The Eastwoodhill phone and computer systems have been completely upgraded and are operated under a rental system from Paul at Business Applications. Every 3-4 years the computers will be upgraded. The phones are running on a VOIP system through the internet which necessitated us to purchase a generator to run the system in case of emergencies as we don’t have cell coverage at the arboretum.

There have and will be a few enhancements within the Homestead Garden area. The first is the upgrade and positioning of new high-quality hardwood Lutyens style garden seats which will replace the old Douglas Cook totara bench seats which have deteriorated beyond repair and comfort. Three out of a possible five each with bronze memorial plaques have been donated and installed. The second upgrade is the Sundial which had also deteriorated beyond repair. A new similar Sundial has been purchased and will be positioned on the same site along with renewing the circular concreted area immediately surrounding it. A poem originally carved onto the side of the original Sundial has been re-etched onto a square of granite by Colin/Gavin at Baystones/Evans Funeral services. This will be set within the concrete in close proximity to the sundial. A big thank you to them for donating the plaque/stone and kindly supporting Eastwoodhill.

The Propagation House/Greenhouse is basically finished with just the plumbing/misting system and fan to be added. We have been utilising the new potting benches for potting and propagation (grafting, cuttings and seed sowing) already. This building is a huge asset for EWH, the staff and for education in the future and built to last for at least the next 100 years. A bronze plaque has been made thanking the Sir John Logan Campbell Residuary Estate and the Marjorie Redstone Trust for funding the project. It is encouraging that several plants/trees have been shared with other arboreta/collectors already and we have also sold some propagated trees and potted bulbs. This should increase exponentially.

From a health and safety point of view we had a fire scare during this past summer. Due to diligent attention being given to the firefighting equipment and processes by the staff we were able to avert disaster from Roger Dickie’s pine forest and consequently the Eastwoodhill Arboretum.

Visitations by myself, sometimes with other staff members, have been made to other arboreta, plant collections, nurseries and Botanic Gardens around New Zealand. Similarly, we have hosted many representatives from the botanical community.  These visitations have been very fruitful in forming meaningful relationships. This sharing of information and ideas will improve Eastwoodhill’s profile in the botanic sphere as a leader in plant conservation and as an arboreal ark. We are part of the BGANZ network which has signed an MOU with DOC relating to NZ Plant Conservation which will also be interesting to be a part of. Eastwoodhill is sited in an excellent remote situation for isolation purposes in regard to tree and plant health.

We have spent time discussing with stakeholders exciting new possibilities such as cycle trails, summer events, Native plant conservation, google mapping of the arboretum tracks, tree database upgrades and the possible herbarium transfer to Auckland Museum.

BGANZ held an open day on May 28th 2017 (end of autumn season) which was a free day for anyone to come out and enjoy the splendour of Eastwoodhill. Over 350 people visited, with their umbrellas as it was a bit rainy. They enjoyed the playground, ambiance of trees, birds, vistas, mist, and the fresh damp earth aroma after rain. Pru did a great job selling drinks and food at the café. Nice to see families from Gisborne who wouldn’t normally frequent the arboretum really loving it.

I had Input into an article RNZIH-NZ Garden Journal written by Murray Dawson (botanist, Landcare Research) concerning the Chilean Mayten tree as a weed species in NZ. I’ve also sent a list of all conifers growing at Eastwoodhill (317 species and varieties-does not include cultivars) to Clayson Howell (Science advisor, Department of Conservation). He was compiling a checklist of all known conifers in NZ.

This year a decision was made by myself and the Trust Board to change EWH’s graphic design and marketing supplier as it was felt that the previous company had stagnated and Eastwoodhill needed a boost of enthusiasm and ideas. We chose Dave Raggett and Rose Hutchings of Draggnett design in Gisborne for our graphic design services as they are a local company and produced an excellent proposal. Dave is in the process of redesigning all of our adverts, maps, road signs, and website etc.  In turn Draggnett work with and recommended Georgina Kemp to act as our Marketing Manager. She has already (with Dave and Rose), in a short space of time, enhanced Eastwoodhill’s profile by targeting and adjusting our media placements ie social media and adverts etc. Georgie and myself hosted and presented, with a tour of EWH, a Massey University associated group of American marketing students, who were traveling around NZ visiting charitable trusts and completing their trip with short placements in Wellington. Georgie will also assist Marion and myself with grant applications to the larger funding Trusts.

We became a ‘Motu Trails official partner business’ at the end of last year. We are on the Rere Falls Trail, a New Zealand Cycle Trail (NZCT) ‘Heartland Ride’. Last October, Motu trails held a fundraiser ride between Motu & the Jolly Stockman, which passed through the Arboretum. Great to see families enjoying the day and the scenery. Sadly, a few weeks after organizing the event, Richard Coates passed away. He will be greatly missed by all of us at Eastwoodhill. In Richards memory, a seat with a commemorative plaque to be located in the Homestead Garden has been donated by the Gisborne Cycle & Walkway Trust.

Funding has been granted from Marjorie Redstone Trust, Tennyson Charitable Trust, J & T Hickey Charitable Trust, J N Williams Memorial Trust, HB Williams Turanga Trust, Mangatawa Beale Williams Memorial Trust, Sunrise Foundation and the Lion Foundation. The funding has gone towards new umbrellas in the courtyard, a drinking fountain, the Greenhouse, a smart phone camera, and general running and utilities costs. Marion, Monique and I have attended funding meetings and met with several funders discussing what grants are available to Eastwoodhill and how we go about applying. Thank you to all of our funders and stakeholders who have donated/granted funds to Eastwoodhill, or given valuable time and effort. Without these generous contributions, it would be difficult or impossible to operate as an arboretum, open to the public for their enjoyment.

During the Friends of Eastwoodhill AGM we were pleased to see new faces volunteering to become committee members- Carole Green, Melody Craw, Sandy MacHugh and Kay Williams. We were also sad to see two long time gardeners/caterers leaving. Jocelyn Grant and Betty Hair, but on the plus side there are several new keen gardeners-- Pat, Mary and Sue.

Sadly, during the year our talented arborist Jan Grzeda passed away and will be greatly missed. We have been blessed in finding Menno Kluiters who is experienced and equally talented and is happy to be our on-call arborist for advice and emergencies. Menno has just completed a Health and Safety assessment of the roadside trees. Andrew Harrison, Rob Graham, John Walford, Craig Lamb, Elliot Fitzjohn – lecturers from Wintec and their students - made two excursions down to us at Eastwoodhill in October-November 2016, to train their students in arboriculture and at the same time help us with maintaining the trees in good condition.

Thanks to Marion, Margot, Monique, Adam and Dan for doing an excellent job keeping the Arboretum and surrounds in as good a state as resources allow and for being cheerful and interactive, nice and neat and clean and tidy. Thanks to all of our lovely volunteers who cater, garden and donate plants, man the shop and do all sorts of other helpful necessary stuff. Thanks also to Tama and the Community Service personnel he looks after twice a week – they do a tremendous number of helpful tasks around the arboretum. We were also fortunate to have around 15 Wwoofers/HelpX people stay in the accommodation and work with us during the past year, from NZ and overseas.


Thank you to the EWH Trustees.

Dan Haliday







Spring 2013

Summer 2012

Autumn 2012

Spring 2011

Autumn 2011