April 12, 2015
Motiti hapu offers help in tree battle
A representative of the hapu from Motiti Island in the Bay of Plenty has offered support to Waitara residents trying to stop the Taranaki Regional Council clearing pohutukawa trees from the Waitara riverbank.
Four of the trees destined for the chipper are a rare yellow variety Metrosideros excelsa Aurea gifted by the hapu in the 1940s to Sir Victor Davies of the plant nursery company Duncan and Davies.
Buddy Mikaere from Ngai Te Hapu Incorporated says they are a taonga for both his hapu and for Waitara’s Manukorihi hapu.
"Motiti Island is the only place in the world that has these yellow pohutukawa trees so they are incredibly rare, so the ones at Waitara, we sort fo regard them as an echo of our kaitiakitanga way over there on the west coast," he says.
He's surprised the regional council didn’t consult with the hapu while developing its plan to fell the trees, which is part of a $3 million flood protection project.
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