Three seedlots of Agathis australis (Lambert) Steud. (kauri pine) were stored hermetically at moisture contents of 1.5–15.5% and at temperatures from −20° to 42°C; and one seedlot of Agathis macrophylla was stored at 7%, 9% or 13% moisture content and at 26°, 6° or −13°C. Seeds of A. australis showed orthodox storage behaviour; except that viability was progressively reduced with drying below about 5% moisture content, and, depending on seedlot, subsequent storage longevities were reduced at all temperatures. Seeds of A. macrophylla again showed essentially orthodox characteristics at 9 and 13% moisture content; but drying to 7% moisture content reduced viability significantly, and of those seeds surviving, a further proportion died as a result of transfer to −13°C, and the remainder survived for 2500 d with little further viability loss. Seeds of neither species conformed fully to orthodox characterisics, nor to those of the intermediate category. The results are discussed in relation to possible causes of this ‘sub-orthodox’ behaviour, especially current seed-harvesting methods, and the limits put upon ex situ conservation of these species in seed banks by their predicted comparatively short storage lives.