Matariki Tu Rākau funding for memorial tree planting
Your community can apply for funding to plant trees as living memorials to honour New Zealand’s heroes. Applications for 2021 are open.
Video – Huramua Marae planting day (4.52)
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[Video starts with aerial views of the Wairoa River, Wairoa, Hawke’s Bay, then audio of man talking.]
Turi Paku, Huramua Marae community: The river when you see the bend out behind me, out that way, it’s coming in and it’s hitting the edge of the shoreline over here, which we used to have all our people buried, and its slowly taking them away. So, we thought we would try and be proactive and get in before the river took them.
[Visual of man speaking, people planting trees by the river, and aerial views of planting area.]
Turi Paku, Huramua Marae community: The challenge has been put to us to at least uplift our loved ones to somewhere safe, but also to retire this area as a wāhi tapu (sacred place) and close it off with natives. And to that extent we’ve been lucky for Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) to come to our assistance and help.
[Visual of area for planting and native trees ready to be planted, with sound of Huramua Marae community singing a blessing and welcome.]
Subtitle: Matariki Tu Rākau Tanemitiriangi Huramua Marae planting, 11 July 2020.
[Sound of singing continues with visual of marae being swept, Returned Service Personnel Roll of Honour, New Zealand flag being raised, bell being run. Visitors walk to marae, remove gumboots and enter. Matariki Tu Rākau flag and people loading native plants into a trailer, people greeting each other.]
Belinda Miller, Te Uru Rākau senior advisor, Matariki Tu Rākau: Matariki Tu Rākau provides funds for communities to plant trees in public spaces to commemorate New Zealand heroes.
[Visual of close up of women speaking.]
Belinda Miller: I think it’s a fantastic grant to be a part of. It really enables people to plant trees to commemorate people that are important to them.
[Visual of people continuing to load up the trailer with native trees, close up of trees, people welcoming each other.]
Chaans Tumatoroa-Clarke, Huramua Marae chair: It’s important to honour the people that have been instrumental in giving this community and this marae the whakapapa (family history and genealogy) that it has, and all the different connections that we have with each other, especially while they’re still in living memory.
[Visual of man speaking in the hall and then at the ceremony.]
Chaans Tumatoroa-Clarke Huramua Marae Chair: Sir Turi Carrol was a World War 1 veteran, sent overseas with the rank of corporal.
[Visual of man speaking in the hall.]
Chaans Tumatoroa-Clarke Huramua Marae chair: It’s important that we record the stories, kōrero, that we have about them, so that all of our children and grandchildren and generations to come will have first-hand information.
[Visual of woman next to man digging a hole for a tree.]
Film maker: Is this a special spot you have picked out here?
Eve Tremain, Huramua Marae whānau: Yes, because my two nannies are buried right here.
[Visual of child being directed where to plant a tree.]
Huramua Marae whānau member: Big step, good girl, put it right there, go back a bit. Ka pai (good).
[Visual of the two planting organisers talking, then one of them sitting and speaking to camera]
Karen Paku, Huramua Marae project management committee: So, the great thing about Matariki Tu Rākau is that they were very approachable. It was easy to get the funding and then we could sit down and organise our own day, and how we were going to run it. So, we had a planting plan and these were the type of trees that we wanted.
[Visual of people looking at planting plan and viewing plants.]
Huramua whānau member: Pittosporum, they’ll get quite big.
[Visual of woman outside Huramua Memorial Hall.]
Raewyn Paku-Robinson, Huramua whānau: So, they help us plan out you know exactly how many trees we might need for our area. They were really helpful because we’re working across two different sites, so she allowed us to kind of have some here at our new urupa but also some to commemorate our soldiers that are still sitting in our old urupa as well.
[Visual of women with native plant in a pot.]
Belinda Miller, Te Uru Rākau senior advisor, Matariki Tu Rākau: These beautiful plants have come from Minginui Nursery.
[Visual of potted native plants close up, people helping themselves to food in the hall and talking over cups of tea, outside at the planting site sharpening tools, cutting weed mat and planting trees, then close up of woman.]
Karen Paku, Huramua Marae project management committee: They supplied all the trees. They also gave us enough money to feed everyone, to have the hakari (sharing of food). But also, they supplied us with some of the stuff that made this happen, so like with the weed mat as well. It was great. It made today. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without the funding.
[Visual of people planting trees and putting on trees guards, the Matariki Tu Rākau plaque, and community witnessing the unveiling of the plaque.]
Tiana Hunter, Huramua whānau: These trees were planted by Tanemitirangi Huramua Marare on the 11th of July 2020 to honour Sir Turi Carroll and all the Returned Service Personnel of the Huramua rohe (district).
[Sound of singing a blessing, visual of man sitting with a child in the hall.]
Chaans Tumatoroa-Clarke, Huramua Marae chair: It’s good to be able to put some native trees and shrubs and that back into the land.
[Visual of woman sitting and speaking.]
Karen Paku, Huramua Marae project management committee: It’s like we’re native, they’re native. It’s sort of like bringing everyone together.
[Visual of an older woman planting trees, then woman speaking in front of the hall, people placing tree guards on plants, close up of native plant, baby reaching to a newly planted native tree.]
Raewyn Paku-Robinson, Huramua whānau: They will outlast us. They will outlast us. They’re going to be here for many years to come. And as we grow old, they grow old with us, and we’ll be able to see the place just develop, and just grow and become something beautiful for everyone to come back to.
[Video ends aerial view of planted area with audio of singing a blessing. Title card reads: Matariki Tu Rākau helping communities plant living memorials to honour their heroes. Te Uru Rākau logo. Apply for funding to run your community planting event by visiting www.mpi.govt.nz/matariki-tu-rakau emailing email@example.com or calling 0800 008 333. Thanks to Tanemitiragi Huramua Marae (Wairoa, Hawke’s Bay) and Minginui Nursery (Minginui, Bay of Plenty). Produced by Kim Boyce-Campbell.]
[End of transcript]
Matariki Tu Rākau: living memorials
Matariki Tu Rākau is part of the One Billion Trees Programme. It is to help people plant living memorials that honour members of their 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 2020, the Matariki Tu Rākau Programme has supported the planting of more than 80 living memorials nationwide. More than 500,000 trees have been planted at 250 planting events since the programme started in 2018.
We are accepting applications for memorial plantings in 2021.
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, 94 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, 409 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:
- 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.