Whakatane council plant trees during Matariki

Images: Supplied.

The Whakatane District Council Open Spaces staff have come together with a number of local students over the last two weeks to plant specimen native trees as part of the national Matariki Tu Rakau initiative supported by Tu Uru Rakau/Forestry NZ.

Whakatane District Council Places and Open Spaces Planner Jane Wright says the continuation of the community planting programme this year has been significant as it coincides with the increasingly recognised Matariki celebrations.

“This is a traditional time of rebirth, thanksgiving and remembrance and is often celebrated as the Māori New Year,” she says.

“Our Open Spaces staff have said that the plantings involving children, their families, wananga students of environmental studies, and their teachers in our shared public places have been a real highlight.”

Whakatane District Council secured funding to plant another 18 significant specimen native trees and joined students from Whakatane Intermediate, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Orini in Coastlands, Te Kura o Te Teko, Te Kura Mana Maori o Matahi in Waimana, St Joseph’s Catholic School in Matata, and Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi to plant in pubic reserves close to their location.

Tree species planted included coastal and northern kowhai, rimu, miro, kahikatea, kawaka, pohutukawa and kauri.

Jane concludes by saying that these trees will create living memorials on our shared public places where whanau, communities, and our visitors can appreciate them for years to come.

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