[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.]
Matariki Tu Rākau: living memorials
The Matariki Tu Rākau grant is part of the One Billion Trees programme. The grant provides funds for people to plant living memorials that honour members of the communities who have:
- 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 September 2021, the Matariki Tu Rākau Programme has supported the planting of more than 135 living memorials nationwide. More than 660,000 trees have been planted at over 300 planting events since the programme started in 2018.
We are accepting applications for memorial plantings in 2022.
What funding is available?
Te Uru Rākau provides funding for trees (preferably native trees) to be planted on suitable land that is accessible to the public or iwi. This includes:
- places of remembrance
Applications will be considered for a planting area of less than 1 hectare. Te Uru Rākau will provide funding through community groups, schools, councils, the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Associations (RNZRSA), and marae.
For their Matariki Tu Rākau project, local communities decide:
- where to plant
- what to plant
- who will prepare and maintain the planting areas
- how to celebrate their living memorial as it begins, and in the future
- how to get the local community involved.
Matariki is celebrated in June to July, near the middle of the planting season for most of the country. The rising of the constellation of Matariki marks a traditional time of harvest, thanksgiving, and remembrance celebrated as the Māori New Year.
For more information, email MatarikiTuRakau@mpi.govt.nz
How to apply for Matariki Tu Rākau funding
To take part, contact your local council, RNZRSA, or marae to find out if they have planned anything for your area.
If nothing is planned, you can get things started. Complete the application form – it covers all the details that need to be arranged.
Matariki Tu Rākau Grant application form [DOCX, 84 KB]
Funding for schools
If you're a school and want to take part complete this application form.
Matariki Tu Rākau Grant application form for schools [DOCX, 79 KB]
Our guide will help you tell your community about your plans
We've created a communications guide to help you spread the word and get your community involved.
Matariki Tu Rākau communications guide [PDF, 314 KB]
What you need to know to apply for funding
How much funding to ask for
The application form gives details of how much you can apply for. Funding will vary depending on the number of trees to be planted and the size of your event.
We'll provide funding for:
- trees and rongoā species
- a commemorative plaque or a contribution to signage
- a contribution to costs of facilitating community-wide planting events including clearance and maintenance (at Te Uru Rākau's discretion).
What type of planting event is eligible
Local events and plantings will ideally be organised by the community. They will represent a fitting expression of local heroes who have served their community. This can be as simple or elaborate, and as casual or formal, as you want.
Invitations will be open to your whole community – children, families, iwi, descendants of past servicemen and women, and those new to the community.
Suitable trees to plant
Trees should be an appropriate species for healthy permanent plantings at your chosen site. We prefer native species, especially those that are regionally appropriate, but you can plant other species significant to the community.
How many trees to plant
The number of trees you can plant is up to your community, and depends on the site you have available. It may be a handful or hundreds.
The number of trees planted and their location will be recorded and made publicly available as part of the Government's One Billion Trees Programme. Plantings will become part of the living salute trail around New Zealand.
What memorial tree plantings should be like
The site, design, and setting are up to your local community.
The priority is that the planted trees and area remain permanently accessible to the public or iwi, and it continues to be maintained. Possible locations could be:
- in public parks or reserves
- civic centres
- marae/hapū land
- along prominent roads and avenues
- near existing memorials.
History of the Matariki Tu Rākau Grant
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 will be a number of Matariki Tu Rākau events between 2018 and 2020.
Over the 3 years, Matariki Tu Rākau plantings will create a national trail of living salutes for service men and women of the Defence Force that complement our time-honoured war memorials. They will be places where whanau, communities, and visitors can visit in years to come to reflect and appreciate the work and sacrifices of our service people.
In October of 2019, Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) extended the commemorative nature of Matariki Tu Rākau to include other commemorative projects. For example, applications can be submitted to commemorate those who have demonstrated innovation, entrepreneurship, improved the lives of others, or exemplified selfless voluntary service. These can include Māori leaders, philanthropic contributors, writers, artists, and others.