Trees rise again on the summit of mighty Maungakiekie

Last Updated : 15 Jun 2016
Trees rise again on the summit of mighty Maungakiekie.jpg
Paul Majurey, Chair of the Tupuna Maunga o Tamaki Makaurau Authority.

Saturday 11 June marks an historic moment in time for the Tūpuna Maunga (ancestral mountain), Maungakiekie or One Tree Hill.

During a dawn planting ceremony at 7.30am, a grove of nine young tōtara and pohutukawa were planted on the tihi (summit) where the former tree stood.

Representatives from Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau, Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority, Tūpuna Taonga Trust, Auckland Council, Maungakiekie-Tāmaki local board and the local community had the honour of planting the trees.

Paul Majurey, Chair of the Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority, says the planting is a moment in the life of Maungakiekie, the significance of which should not be underestimated.

"This event is a momentous milestone for this taonga, for Mana Whenua and for the people of Tāmaki Makaurau. To Mana Whenua this Tūpuna Maunga was once known as 'Te Tōtara i Āhua' for the single mighty tōtara tree that stood at the tihi. That tōtara was lost in the mid-1800s. Today native trees rise once again."

All of the young trees planted in the new grove have been grown from parent trees at Maungakiekie. Some of the pohutukawa specimens have been sourced from a seedling that was found growing on the former Monterey Pine. The pohutukawa seedling was saved when the pine tree was removed and cultivated in a nursery.

The kiekie plant, after which Maungakiekie is named, has also been 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.

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 pohutukawa or tōtara will remain standing on the tihi.

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