About Us

Grow Ōtautahi, Christchurch Garden Festival is owned by a Charitable Trust. The Trust is supported by a network of local service providers who are all Christchurch based. From the initial concept development to event delivery, the festival is home-grown and hands-on.

Meet the Trust | He Tangata

  • Festival Director

    Sandi MacRae

    Sandi has long been involved in garden festivals across Aotearoa, as an exhibition producer, designer and judge. A talented landscape designer and plants-woman, Sandi is the driving force behind GROW, passionate to see Ōtautahi Christchurch reinvent what it means to be the Garden City.


  • Christchurch Garden Festival Trust

    Trustees | Ngā Kaitiaki

    The Christchurch Garden Festival Trust has active Board members that are working to support development of the inaugural GROW event at the Botanic Gardens. Board members are Chris Walsh (Chair), Murray Strong, Kiri Jarden, Sandi MacRae and Lisa Goodman.

    The Festival's Patron is Athol McCully.

Meet the Delivery Team | Me te tūtaki ngā kaimahi

  • Operations and Festival Management


    360's experienced team have supported the development of garden festivals in Christchurch since 2009. They have been engaged to provide Festival Management and are working closely with the Trust to create a dynamic and memorable event.

  • PR & Communications Manager

    Amanda Healy Communications

    Amanda Healy is Grow’s communications and media expert, bringing a background in public relations and news media to the team. Previously considering herself a “reluctant-gardener”, she’s now enjoying being inspired by the experts and is excited to share news and information about Grow Ōtautahi with the world.

2021 Ambassadors | Ngā Pou Whakarae

  • Beginner Gardener Ambassador

    Julia Atkinson-Dunn

    Julia joins as a passionate NEW gardener. With a background in design and writing, she has created a new platform to help bridge the void of information for New Zealanders confronted with bare backyards and zero knowledge on growing. Studio Home Gardening offers fellow beginners regular articles that address the absolute basics in creating outdoor spaces to be enjoyed - mixing these with inspirational filmed episodes visiting local gardens and opening a door on the creativity and scope available to everyone with a patch, no matter the size. Julia will be mediating a series of panel discussions with experts over the festival, aimed at new home owners and those curious to take a step into gardening.

  • Landscape Design Ambassador

    Dan Rutherford

    As well as working as a garden designer, Dan leads a team of professional landscapers. He is the winner of several consecutive gold medals at the Ellerslie International Flower Show, along with the People’s Choice at the Singapore Garden Festival and a recent silver at the New Zealand Flower and Garden Show. Dan has extensive landscaping knowledge, and is happy to share it with other enthusiastic gardeners. Creative garden designs, exceptional workmanship, excellent problem solving skills and a passion for gardens, has earned Dan an enviable reputation in Canterbury.

  • Youth Ambassador

    Lincoln Roper

    Lincoln helped on his family's horticultural property from the age of seven. At 16, he entered the New Zealand Young Vegetable Grower of the Year competition where he was the youngest competitor in the competition's 10-year history and was awarded runner up, behind a 28-year-old competitor.

    Lincoln recently completed studying a Bachelor of Agribusiness and Food Marketing at Lincoln University. He has developed his leadership philosophy on the Lincoln University Future Leader programme and describes it as "never looking down on someone unless you're helping them up."

  • Food Ambassador

    Jax Hamilton

    Jax is a cook who inspires and loves to mix it up, blending a pinch of cockney cheek with a cup of Jamaican personality, all served up on a home-grown kiwi plate. Along with resident food maestro Jonny Schwass, Jax will convene cooking demonstrations with guest chefs from around the nation, using freshly harvested goodies from gardens around Ōtautahi Christchurch.

  • Science Ambassador

    Dr. Trevor Stuthridge

    Dr. Trevor Stuthridge joined AgResearch as Research Director in May 2019. He has extensive NZ and international executive and governance experience in R&D, innovation and technology commercialisation in the primary industries, bioeconomy and clean technologies sectors.

  • Horticultural Ambassador

    Wolfgang Bopp

    Wolfgang studied at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in the United Kingdom and worked as assistant curator at the Ness Botanic Gardens before taking on the role as the first Curator at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales.

    After leaving Wales, he became the Curator, and subsequently director, of the internationally renowned Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire. Wolfgang is the Director of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.