THIS FUND IS CLOSED
Funding for this programme closed in May 2023. No new applications are being accepted. Grants that are already approved will progress as scheduled.
Matariki Tu Rākau: living memorials
The Matariki Tu Rākau programme provided funding for people to plant living memorials to honour members of the community who had:
- made practical change through their efforts
- brought distinction to New Zealand through their work
- enhanced New Zealand's reputation in their area or activity.
As at May 2023, the Matariki Tu Rākau Programme has supported the planting of over 660,000 trees. Since the programme started in 2018, there have been more than 450 events to plant living memorials that honour members of the community.
$5.16 million in Matariki Tu Rākau funding was approved across 188 grants. There are 36 active grants that are either currently planting or planning to plant trees.
Guide to help you tell your community about your plans
If you’ve already had a grant approved, use this guide to help you spread the word and get your community involved.
History of the Matariki Tu Rākau Programme
The Government announced Matariki Tu Rākau on Anzac Day, 25 April 2018. The first tree plantings and local community-led celebrations began during Matariki (Māori New Year) 2018.
The programme is one of a series of initiatives around the country to mark the 100-year anniversary of the end of the First World War. There were several Matariki Tu Rākau events between 2018 and 2020.
In October 2019, Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service extended the commemorative nature of Matariki Tu Rākau to include other commemorative projects. The grant commemorated those who have demonstrated innovation, entrepreneurship, improved the lives of others, or exemplified selfless voluntary service.
The programme was part of the One Billion Trees programme.
Find out more about other funding for tree planting
[Video begins. Belinda Miller appears.]
Belinda Miller, Te Uru Rākau Senior Adviser – Matariki Tu Rākau: Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service is proud to be partnering with Maeroa Intermediate School to plant trees through our Matariki Tu Rākau Grant. Maeroa Intermediate School will be planting over 500 trees provided for through the grant.
[Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service, Matariki Tu Rākau logo appears on screen, followed by words: Helping communities plant living memorials to honour their heroes.]
[Children singing in the background while camera zooms in on gully and stream.]
[Amanda Taylor appears. Shots of netball court and gully.]
Amanda Taylor, Deputy Principal – Maeroa Intermediate: I came to this school as a student and I can remember the gully was the cricket nets, so that’s like 35, 37 years ago or whatever it is. And so, the gully has always been there; it’s been different things at different times, but it’s become a bit of an eyesore.
[Students shown digging into soil with spades, planting trees.]
Student 1: The gully project is for an outdoor learning space for future generations of Maeroa and for people to have fun in and a happy place and a good place for the environment.
[Julie Yeoman and Belinda walking past seedlings, talking. Shots of seedlings, children planting seeds.]
Julie Yeoman, Teacher – Maeroa Intermediate: So, the Matariki Tu Rākau grant has enabled us to start a shade house and in that shade house we’ve been propagating native plants from seed and the other thing that it’s helped us with is potting mix and seed raising mix…
[Shot of manuka seeds.]
This is some of the manuka that we’ve harvested.
[Shots of shade house, children holding, carrying seedlings to gully.]
It’s also enabled us to purchase some trees to be able to plant down in the gully and so it’s really enabled us to probably triple what we would have been doing. The other thing it’s done is we have working bees once a month on a Saturday and we like the people that have come some kai for morning tea and so the grant has enabled us to purchase really yummy morning teas.
[More shots of students digging, planting trees.]
Interviewer: So, it’s becoming more popular?
Student 2: Yeah, last year the maximum we had was like five people. It’s really fun just planting with your friends.
Students 3: The landscape has changed so that there’s more trees.
Student 2: Some of them have roots which stabilise the soil and when rain comes down it won’t pick up rubbish and take it into the stream.
[Shots of two student potting seedlings while they talk.]
Student 4: And also, the air around our school is more healthy.
Student 5: And the wildlife. Oh, lizards!
Student 4: Lizards, yes!
Student 5: So many!
Student 4: We even had to make a new lizard enclosure.
[Shot of Amanda holding silver plaque with words: Matariki Tu Rākau. A national project to establish stands of trees across Aotearoa New Zealand’s heroes. These trees were planted by the students and community of Maeroa Intermediate School in Winter 2021 to honour Rob Begbie. 500 trees were provided by Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service as part of the One Billion Trees Programme. Shot of memorial pamphlet with Rob’s image, along with words: In Loving Memory of Rob Begbie, 7th July 1941 – 12th October 2019. Children heard singing in background.]
Amanda: The gully restoration was driven as a memorial to Rob Begbie, who was a teacher in our school for must have been about twenty years. It would be a really peaceful place to remember a great man.
[Shots of children smiling, planting trees.]
Student 1: Also, we can look back on all of these trees at like 20 metes high or the maximum they can grow and think “oh, we’ve planted all of these”.
Student 2: Yeah, knowing we planted them will be cool.
[Belinda’s voice in background as planting continues.]
Belinda: These projects are legacy projects. Plant a tree to connect to your city, marae or school. Be part of building a forest, a collective resource which will be enjoyed by communities for generations to come.
[Children singing as camera zooms out, showing gully and stream.]
[Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest logo appears with words: Apply for funding to run your community planting event by visiting www.mpi.govt.nz/matariki-tu-Rākau matarikituRākau@mpi.govt.nz 0800 008 333.]
[Black screen appears with words: Thanks to Maeroa Intermediate. Produced by Kim Boyce-Campbell.]
[Video ends. End of transcript.]
Who to contact
If you have questions about the Matariki Tu Rākau programme:
- email MatarikiTuRakau@mpi.govt.nz
- call 0800 00 83 33.