A dawn planting ceremony on 11 June will mark the first phase of returning a tree to the tihi (summit) of Maungakiekie / One Tree Hill.
The event will start at 7.30am, Saturday 11 June, and is open to the public. Representatives from Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau, the Tūpuna Maunga Authority, Auckland Council and local community will plant a small grove of nine young tōtara / pōhutukawa where the former tree stood.
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, a single pōhutukawa or tōtara will remain standing on the tihi.
Historic moment for Auckland
Paul Majurey, Chair of the Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority, says this significant event marks another milestone for mana whenua following the return of Maungakiekie to them in the 2014 landmark Tāmaki Collective Treaty settlement, and is a historic moment for Auckland.
“It is significant that this ceremony marks the beginning of a new chapter for Maungakiekie, as well as acknowledging the collective support of Mana Whenua alongside Auckland Council, the local boards and Koromatua / Mayor Len Brown who has long been a champion for the return of a tree to the summit of this iconic maunga.”
“Planting the tihi of Maungakiekie has been 16 years in the making, and is an event to be shared and celebrated by all Aucklanders.”
The Monterey Pine which previously stood on the tihi is thought to be the sole survivor of a grove of trees planted by Sir John Logan Campbell in the 1870s. The pine was first damaged in 1994 and then again in 1999. The tree was subsequently deemed unsafe and removed in 2000.
All of the young specimens to be planted in the new grove have been grown from parent trees at Maungakiekie. Some of the pōhutukawa specimens have been sourced from seedlings that were found growing on the former Monterey Pine. The pōhutukawa seedlings were saved when the pine tree was removed and cultivated in nurseries.
Shelter band to protect trees
The kiekie plant, after which Maungakiekie is named, will also be planted within the new grove, along with a shelter band of native shrubs to help protect the young trees and ensure the optimum chance of survival in the exposed conditions on the tihi. A fence and wind-cloth will also be added to further assist the trees as they become established.
The planting ceremony is likely to attract a large number of people and space on the tihi will be very limited. The road to the maunga will be closed for the event to allow the safe movement of pedestrians; however, a shuttle will run between the Stardome Observatory and the tihi from 7am.
Breakfast will be served after the ceremony in a marquee beside the entrance to Stardome Observatory at the base of Maungakiekie for anyone who would like to attend. Information about the planting will be on display at the marquee.
Maungakiekie / One Tree Hill is one of the 14 tūpuna maunga (ancestral mountains) 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.
Find out more
Find out more about the Tūpuna Maunga Authority and view a list of the Tūpuna Maunga (ancestral mountains) returned to mana whenua.