In 2004 Hokonui Rūnanga Inc. established floriculture Ltd. To develop Gentians (native flowers) from the Sub Antarctic Islands for commercial use. The Gentian Violet Horticulture Programme was driven largely by the late Rewi Anglem from 2004 to 2013.
The varieties of gentian developed in this program, Gentiana Cerina and Gentiana Concinna, are endemic to the Auckland Islands and Campbell Islands. They come in a variety of colours including white, pale pink, red and purple. Although gentians are often thought of as being entirely ornamental, they are now used in things like moonshine and herbal medicine. And Ngāi Tahu reports that Māori may also have once used Gentians for medicinal purposes.
The overall goal of this project was to establish a successful horticulture (cultivation and propagation) venture at the Hokonui Rūnanga. Beyond commercial gains, this program also aimed to Safeguard our environmental, social and cultural values; assist future generations in sustaining utilising and protecting indigenous biodiversity; and, promote indigenous flora and fauna as an ornamental crop against the dominant attitude that favours introduced species.