Matariki Tu Rākau

Matariki Tu Rākau is part of the One Billion Trees programme. It's to help mark nationwide commemorations of the end of World War I. Find out how to take part.

Celebrating those who serve our country

The Government announced Matariki Tu Rākau on Anzac Day, 25 April 2018. It's an opportunity for communities to plant trees to recognise the service of men and women of the New Zealand Defence Forces, past and present. Tree plantings and local community-led celebrations begin in Matariki 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. We expect up to 350,000 trees to be planted through Matariki Tu Rākau events over the next 3 years.

Communities creating local projects that will last

Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) will provide funding for trees (preferably indigenous trees) to be planted on suitable land that's accessible to the public. We'll provide funding through community groups, councils, the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Associations (RNZRSAs), and marae.

Local communities will work together to decide:

  • where to plant
  • what to plant
  • how to celebrate their Matariki Tu Rākau project.

Matariki Tu Rākau plantings will create living salutes, to complement our time-honoured war memorials. They will be public places where whanau, communities, and visitors, can reflect on the work and sacrifices of our service personnel. 

Matariki is 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.

Take part in Matariki Tu Rākau

To get involved, contact your local council, RNZRSA, or marae to find out if they have planned anything for your area, or to get things started.

You can find information about applying for funding in the application form.

Download the Matariki Tu Rākau application form [PDF, 174 KB]

Find out more

Last reviewed:
Has this been useful? Give us your feedback