Terry humbled by Order of Merit
Terry Hatch is one of the very few who can honestly say that he doesn’t feel as though he has worked a day in his life. After nearly 50 years in the sector, Terry has just been recognised for his service to horticulture and conservation in the New Years Honours List, in the form as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Humbled by the award, Terry says ‘it’s just what we do.’ His nursery, Joy Plants, is a family business, run by Terry, his wife Pam, and son Lindsey. Spread over 12 acres on Jericho Road, Joy Plants is renowned for the breeding of rare New Zealand plants, island reforestation, and the promotion of horticulture through his writing and speaking engagements.
Terry won a Supreme Award for Horticultural Excellence at the Ellerslie Flower Show and has been an active member of the Friends of the Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens for more than 20 years. In 2007, Terry was made a life member.
The Pukekohe resident knew from a young age that he was going to be a gardener.
“It is in the genes. Our ancestors in the 1500s cut flowers in London, so it has been passed down from there, and the genetics keep getting better,” he laughs.
From humble beginnings in Runciman Road, Terry’s nursery now supplies re-vegetation plant life for projects in the northern half of the North Island.
One of the most rewarding projects for Terry has been the restoration of Mercury Island. Having raised over half a million plants over the last 30 years for the re-vegetation of the forest, Terry has seen the island completely eradicated of pests, and is enjoying witnessing the bird life return.
Terry has also enjoyed working on local projects, such as Project Crimson, which has seen the restoration of the pohutukawa and rata along the Awhitu coastline.
He was also a founding member of the International Plant Propagators’ Society, which saw him serve as International President of the Society up until recently.
“That role enabled us travel around the world. There are always plants to look at. This time last year I was in the Sub-Antarctic and the plants there were just beautiful, like nothing you have ever seen before.”
Terry will be presented with his Order of Merit this year at Government House, however, until then, he says it is business as usual.
“We are just ordinary people, doing what we love. There are plants that need propagating, weeding and watering, and soil that needs to be loved and nurtured,” laughs Terry.

Pukekohe resident and horticulturist, Terry Hatch, has been awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in the latest New Years Honours list.