Community invited to plant out historic site

Supplied photo.

An open planting weekend gives the community an opportunity to acknowledge an important part of Tauranga Moana’s history through the creation of a new outdoor space.

Hosted by Tauranga City Council and the Pukehinahina Charitable Trust, the event will be at the Te Ranga Historic Reserve on the corner of Pyes Pā and Joyce Roads where the Battle of Te Ranga took place on June 21, 1864.

Five sessions from Friday, June 17, to Sunday, June 19, will see around 5000 native trees and plants added to the site as part of the Te Ranga landscape plan.

A tomokanga (gateway), carpark, walkway and a new memorial will also be added to the site at a later date.

Tauranga City Council Director of Places and Spaces Paul Dunphy says it’s an exciting opportunity for people of all ages to get involved.

“The large site features many different areas for people to volunteer their skills and time, either planting on the newly added embankment, on the hillside or other locations on site.

“It doesn’t matter what your gardening skill level is as there will be project team members available to assist. We want everyone to feel that they can come along and contribute.”

Pukehinahina Charitable Trust Project Director and Ngāi Tamarāwaho spokesperson, Buddy Mikaere, says all members of the public are welcome to come along and he hopes this will help foster a shared sense of pride in the space.

“We would like as many people as possible to come together for a fun and productive couple of days that will completely transform the site.

“In doing so we are preserving this land for future generations and properly acknowledging the importance of this area’s history.”

Community planting sessions:

  • Friday, June 17 – 12pm to 2.30pm (site preparation and plant distribution)
  • Saturday, June 18 – 9am to 12pm, 2pm to 5pm
  • Sunday, June 19 – 9am to 12pm, 2pm to 5pm

Parking will be available on site which can be accessed from Joyce Road. Attendees will need to arrive ahead of their preferred planting session for a safety briefing.

Attendees are asked to bring their own spade, snacks and water. Covered footwear is essential and those taking part in planting should wear a fluorescent top or vest if possible. Tamariki under 12 years must be supervised and people should stay home if unwell.

The planting will go ahead in overcast or rainy conditions, however if a cancellation is needed a notice will be issued.

About Te Ranga landscape plan:

The Battle of Te Ranga took place on 21 June 1864 and was seen as an act of retaliation from British forces against Māori after the British defeat at the Battle of Gate Pā the previous month.

Last year, Tauranga City Council provided funding to the Pukehinahina Charitable Trust - in partnership with Ngāi Tamarāwaho hapu - to landscape the area and provide more opportunities for residents to engage with stories of Tauranga Moana.

The reserve will have open access to the public and will become a valuable addition to the city’s green space.

Tauranga City Council allocated $531,000 through the Long-Term Plan, and a further $114,000 was provided for site preparation, consultation, and planting.

The funds are allocated for use over 2022 to 2023 with the project due to be completed in 2023. The project is also supported by Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

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