The Heritage Food Crops Research Trust (formerly the Central Tree Crops Research Trust) is a charitable trust, established to research the early prevention and treatment of disease through the medicinal properties of plant-based food and natural plant-based medicine.

Objectives and Aims of the Trust

To conduct and co-ordinate research for the public good, on diseases and afflictions affecting New Zealanders, and to disseminate research information to the public.

  • Research the early prevention and treatment of disease, to establish a "wellness" approach to human health.
  • Establish and maintain research collaborations with both national and internationally recognised leaders in each research field investigated.
  • Research the medicinal properties of plants to establish their appropriate neutraceutical use and use as functional foods.
  • Research natural methods to maintaining health and wellbeing.
  • Publish research findings.
  • Distribute researched solutions.

Trust Officers

Mark Christensen

Mark is Research Director for the Trust, having worked for 6 years through the New Zealand Tree Crops Association (NZTCA) Central Districts Branch, instigating and co-ordinating the research on heritage apples and cancer, and the Monty's Surprise variety. In 2006, Mark received the Dr Don McKenzie award from the NZTCA in recognition of his research efforts and in 2007, was voted the Gardener of the Year for the Whanganui/Manawatu area by the New Zealand Gardener magazine.

Murray Woodhouse

Murray is the Trust's chairperson, and brings to this role a great deal of experience, holding a number of current directorships as well as having served for twelve years as a Porirua District Councilor. Murray has a 2.2 hectare lifestyle block with mixed fruit and nut species.

Hinemoa Ransom-Boyd

Hinemoa is the Trust's secretary. Together with her husband, she owns and runs a successful printing business in Whanganui. Hinemoa has a great interest in growing plants and fruit trees using organic and permaculture principles. She is developing her own area of land along these lines.

Dr Gordon Lees - BSc, PhD

Gordon formerly chaired the Research Committee for the New Zealand Tree Crops Association and was their Research Coordinator specialising in the medicinal qualities of plants. Previously Gordon was a Research Scientist for the University of Auckland where he held a joint appointment as a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Science and Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology. Retired from the University, Gordon is now on a two acre lifestyle block at Kaiwaka, pursuing his interest in cultivating fruit and nut varieties.