October 27, 2015
New life for bird-friendly ngutukaka
It’s gardening time for two northern Hawke’s Bay hapu.
Ngati Kohatu and Ngati Hinehika have been given 100 seedlings of a rare white kakabeak or ngutukaka, which had been thought extinct.
The plants were grown by crown research institute Scion from seed from a plant collector’s deceased estate.
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the seeds were collected from the Tiniroto cliffs near Wairoa, but the plant has not been seen since the 1950s.
Land at Te Reinga marae in Wairoa has been fenced off to provide a safe area for the plants.
The more familiar red kakabeak is also rare in the wild because of possums, deer, goats and snails.
Ms Barry says endemic plants are part of New Zealand’s natural heritage, and she would encourage more people to grow kakabeak in their own gardens, where the nectar-rich native flower will attract birds.
Copyright © 2015, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com