Bring a spade for Pa¯pa¯moa
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.