About Grow / He Tirohanga Whānui

Grow Ō Tautahi, the Christchurch Garden Festival, showcases creativity, innovation and the region’s love of gardens and outdoor living.

GROW will stimulate discussion about food resilience, water and healthy eating. GROW will inspire and connect communities through sharing knowledge and exploring cultural associations with design, landscape, plants and food. GROW will include exhibit gardens, a schools’ garden competition, botanical displays, a community garden, panel discussions, cooking demonstrations, entertainment, family activities with workshops and masterclasses providing hands-on expert advice. Whether you are new to gardening or an expert in growing, this free event will have something for you to engage with, learn from or react to.

2020 Ambassadors / Ngā Pou Whakarae

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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 Ō Tautahi Christchurch.

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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.



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.

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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.

Festival Director

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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 Ō Tautahi Christchurch reinvent what it means to be the Garden City.


Grow People / He Tangata

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 Athol McCully (Chair), Lisa Goodman, Chris Walsh, Murray Strong, Kiri Jarden and Sandi MacRae.