Kapiti horticultural society
Kapiti Horticultural Society was a society created in New Zealand for agricultural and horticultural improvement, and is the successor to the Marlborough Agricultural and Horticultural Society, now renamed the Kapiti-Marlborough Agricultural and Horticultural Society.
The Society was founded in 1893 by a group of farmers, landowners and horticulturalists from southern Marlborough (including its urban township of Greytown), northern Canterbury (Kaiapoi, Hanmer, Clarence, Waimate and Christchurch) and southern Taranaki (including New Plymouth). The beginnings of the Society were modest and included occasional events which were later formalised. Early activity was centred in Marlborough and the horticultural activities of the Society were centred in its sub-committee, the Marlborough Horticultural and Agricultural Society. Meetings of the original members and their friends were usually held in members' homes, although in 1901 the Sub-committee moved to meeting rooms in the local social hall. However, by 1913 it had become obvious that a meeting place was required. After careful research, Kapiti land was purchased for use as a site for the new Society building. The old horticultural society’s offices were also located in the old hall.
Life and activities
Members of the Society were associated with horticulture in various ways. The Marlborough Horticultural Society included members such as John Cadman, whose father-in-law and one of the Society’s original committee members, Sir John Logan Campbell, was known for his horticultural research and experiments and who later became the first president of the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural Science. These two individuals did much to form the Society and also for their collaboration with New Zealand's first director of horticulture, Edward Gordon Hollingworth (later a founder of the Royal Horticultural Society of the UK) who attended the Society's first meeting in May 1893.
New Zealand fruit production during this period included over 300 tonnes of apples, 5200 tonnes of onions, 12,000 tonnes of potatoes, and approximately 30000 tonnes of carrots and pumpkin annually. The Society continued to coordinate horticultural activities, such as publishing the Marlborough Horticultural Report for 1913.
Numerous crops such as kiwi, wheat, lamb, and beef were produced on horticultural society owned land. As farming technology advanced, the Society became more involved in animal husbandry and with respect to dairy farming in particular. Another important activity for the Society was to oversee agricultural show societies. These societies held meetings which often focused on educational or cultural topics, as well as raising funds to support the Society. The Society's first lecture series included lectures by E. G. Hollingworth, A. C. Best and the Crown Lawyer, J. D. Cowan.
Some of the Society’s volunteers worked in science and research. In 1912 Dr Peter Tregonning from Victoria University, who was of considerable influence in agricultural science in New Zealand at the time, was the first elected president of the