07 549 0852


Hi, my name is Claudia and I would like to tell you a little about my background as well as Standards of Excellence.
I was born and educated in Germany where I studied photography and design before coming to New Zealand in the late eighties. After a few years of living in the country I founded Standards of Excellence in 1992 and have been combining my love for plants and sculpture ever since.
Learning about plants, their needs, habits and quirks was a challenge that is still ongoing today. The other, and often neglected, learning curve is about running a business, which is quite a complex task if you are ‘it’. Luckily I had the help and support of my husband Andrew and together we built a small nursery structure. My early sales were made out of my horse float, which I towed to Auckland behind the old Beemer. The petrol costs were higher than the income from plant sales in those days.
Today there is a spacious nursery, a barn complete with potting facilities, a ‘lecture room’ (where we usually keep the truck,float and tractor) and lots of space for visitor parking and the turning needs of truck and trailer units which now come to collect my plants for nation-wide delivery.
I still engage hubby for many after-hours and weekend tasks and I now have the immense pleasure of passing on hard-learned lessons to my ‘branch manager’ Claire who will continue this business once I fade out of the picture.
Standards of Excellence is more than a nursery business. It’s the result of many years of learning, growing and changing with the gardening industry and the many people who have contributed to its existence.


First to arrive on the scene was Tui, our head of security. While indeed small in stature Tui takes her position very seriously and puts any visitors to the nursery through a thorough security check before allowing them entry. It was Tui who introduced our audible early warning system which seemed quite noisy at first, but proved itself to be appreciated by other staff members who are instantly aware of any new guests to the nursery.


Andrew owns a successful contracting business in Katikati and is the busiest man I know. He loves a challenge and can make things happen. Andrew understands weather patterns and can fly planes and helicopters. He knows what makes a horse tick and lately also feels the need to become a competent yachty. One of Andrew’s favourite sayings is: ‘The road to success is always under construction’.