Home News Flourishing trees “symbol of growth”

Flourishing trees “symbol of growth”


A year has passed since nine young trees were planted in a dawn ceremony on the tihi (summit) of Maungakiekie - One Tree Hill. The grove of totara and pohutakawa has not only survived, but “they are flourishing,” says Paul Majurey, chair of Tupuna Maunga Authority. 

Maungakiekie is the second-largest of Auckland’s  46 volcanoes. Once the site of a large pā, it was home to several thousand people. By the time Europeans had settled, the pā had been abandoned, and a single tōtara tree grew on the tihi. This was later replaced by a Monterey pine, and Maungakiekie became known as One Tree Hill.

After the pine was twice damaged, and then removed in 2000, it took 16 years to reach an agreement about what should be planted there. The new plantings are part of the first phase to return a tree to the tihi; after 10 years, one tree will remain standing. 

Kiekie plants were also planted within the new grove, 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.

Arborist Jeff Fell says all of the trees and plants are growing “exceptionally well.”

He adds that it will still be at least five years before they start removing the weaker trees to allow the stronger ones to grow.

“Over a period of time individual trees will dominate. Time will tell.”

For Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau, Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority, and Tūpuna Taonga Trust, the tree planting ceremony held another significance; it marked the return of Maungakiekie to Mana Whenua , in the 2014 Tamaki collective Treaty settlement.

Mr Majurey says, “Several hundred people were there that morning and the planting resounded deeply with every one of them. The grove of Totara and Pohutukawa marks another significant event in the history of this taonga, and is a symbol of growth. It is fitting that they are flourishing.














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