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Mātauranga for Ngutukākā as plantings grow across Tairawhiti

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

This weekend in Tairawhiti, adults and tamariki got together to wānanga and learn about the matauranga around the Tairawhiti Ngutukākā. They also planted 250 ngutukaka on the day and another seed orchard has also been established!

Less than 100 ngutukaka remain in the wild, clinging on to remote and wild places on the East Coast. This is because bluff and cliffs are the only places that their two greatest threats - deer and goats - can't reach them.

The amazing and indefatigable Tairāwhiti Ngutukākā - East Coast Kakabeak team are changing that by putting the species back into people's everyday lives.

Over the past three years hundreds of volunteers have planted ngutukaka at marae, kura, kohanga, health clinics, mainly around the Tokomaru Bay area and at various locations along SH35. They have also given out hundreds to people who want to grow them.

The Endangered Species Foundation of New Zealand is proud to support these efforts and we are also very happy that Trees That Count are also backing this amazing project.

In Graeme's words:

"The plan is to have people literally tripping over them, again, putting them back in their faces. Like they were in October 21st 1769 when the crew from the Endeavour "discovered" ngutukaka growing around the dwellings of the natives in Anaura Bay".

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou, thank you to everyone involved in this beautiful, powerful restoration project. We look forward to the day when there are thousands of these beauties along SH35 and maybe one day having a munch of those delicious little pea pods.

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