A tree will once again stand on the tihi (summit) of Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill following a decision by the Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority at their hui on Monday 19 October 2015.
Planting will take place in winter 2016, during Matariki (Māori New Year) celebrations, where the previous iconic tree stood.
Grove of natives to become one
Initially, a small grove of three young tōtara and six young pohutukawa, along with a shelter-band of native shrubs, will be planted to ensure the optimum chance of survival in the exposed conditions on the tihi.
Over the course of several years, and overseen by arborists, a process of selection will see the stronger trees emerge. The aim is that after a decade there will be a single pohutukawa or tōtara.
All of the young specimens that will be planted in the new grove have been grown from parent trees at Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill. Some of the pohutukawa specimens have been sourced from seedlings that were found growing on the former Monterey pine tree that stood on the tihi. The pohutukawa seedlings were saved when the pine tree was removed and were cultivated in nurseries.
Milestone for Maungakiekie
Paul Majurey, Chair of the Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority, says the return of native fauna to the tihi of Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill marks another significant milestone for this iconic Tūpuna Maunga (ancestral mountain).
“This unanimous decision could not have been made without the support of Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau, the 13 iwi/hapū who achieved the landmark Tāmaki Collective Treaty settlement that resulted in the return of ownership of the Tūpuna Maunga to mana whenua,” says Mr Majurey.
“It is also important to acknowledge the leadership of Koromatua (Mayor) Len Brown who has long been a champion for the return of a tree to the summit of this maunga, along with other council and local board leadership.
“The establishment of the co-governance arrangement between mana whenua and Auckland Council has already resulted in much better care of these treasured places.”
Symbol of unity
Mayor Len Brown described the agreement that a tree will once again stand on the tihi of Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill as an impressive symbol of what can be achieved in the new Auckland.
Speaking on the maunga, Len Brown said, “Mangakiekie/One Tree Hill is an icon for Aucklanders no matter where they live, no matter what their background.”
“The loss of the tree was a symbol of what divided us. The return of a tree is a symbol of what unites us.
“Aucklanders have been waiting for this moment for 15 years. Five years after the uniting of Auckland and a year after the establishment of the Maunga Authority, we will once again have an iconic symbol of what brings us all together.”
Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill is one of the 14 Tūpuna Maunga returned to Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau under the Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau Collective Redress Act 2014, marking an important milestone for these taonga tuku iho (treasures handed down the generations) and improved protection and enhancement of their spiritual, cultural, historical and geological values.
The Tūpuna Maunga are administered by the Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority, comprised of equal representatives from Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau and Auckland Council, together with one (non-voting) Crown representative.