Bring a spade for Pa¯pa¯moa

Te Puke Times - - NEWS -

Lo­cals are be­ing in­vited to help re­store Pa¯pa¯moa Hills Re­gional Park by help­ing out at up­com­ing plant­ing days this week­end.

“We have 30,000 na­tive trees to plant in this year’s reveg­e­ta­tion site at the top of the Park. We’d love some help from lo­cals to get the plants into the ground,” says Bay of Plenty Re­gional Coun­cil se­nior projects of­fi­cer Court­ney Bell.

“Any­onewho is keen to lend a hand should come along to the trig site, ap­prox­i­mately 30 min­utes’ walk uphill from the Po­plar Lane car park, at 10am on ei­ther day. Bring gar­den­ing gloves and a spade if you have them.”.

Two thou­sand of the trees to be planted this year are po¯hutukawa that have been do­nated by parks and re­cre­ation spe­cial­ists Ge­off Can­ham Con­sult­ing. Mr Can­ham said that he, and more re­cently his com­pany, have been in­volved with the es­tab­lish­ment and care of many lo­cal parks, in­clud­ing Te Rae o Pa¯pa¯moa (Pa¯pa¯moa Hills), over the years.

The work to bring po¯hutukawa back to Te Rae o Pa¯pa¯moa is also sup­ported by tan­gata whenua. An­cient sto­ries from both Te Arawa and Tau­ranga Moana iwi record the red colour vis­i­ble on the hills to peo­ple in waka, and those trav­el­ling along the coast.

“This was likely to have been po¯hutukawa in flower,” said Maru Tapsell, a kauma¯tua for Waitaha iwi.

Te Rae o Pa¯pa¯moa is con­sid­ered one of the most out­stand­ing ex­am­ples of pa¯ and set­tle­ment com­plexes in the Pa­cific and has been des­ig­nated as an out­stand­ing cul­tural land­scape.

It is recog­nised as an an­ces­tral land­mark that has been oc­cu­pied by many dif­fer­ent iwi over the cen­turies: Waitaha, Nga¯ti Rang­inui, Nga¯i te Rangi, Nga¯ti Pukenga, Nga¯ Po¯tiki and Nga¯ti He.

Court­ney says this year is the sec­ond of a five-year park plant­ing project that will re­store logged ar­eas, cre­ate a safe-haven for wildlife, and pro­tect im­por­tant historic fea­tures from ero­sion.

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