A special native plant nursery using locally sourced seeds to grow hardy plants – such as Titoki, Makamako, Karamū, Tī kouka/Cabbage Tree, Toetoe, Kahikatea – suited Hawke’s Bay conditions is up and running at Waiohiki Marae.

Te Wai Mauri Nursery is part of Te Wai Mauri Limited which was first set up as a Charitable Trust  in 2015, and then incorporated in 2020, with the aim of fostering the aspirations of local Ngāti Pārau whanau (a hapū of Ngāti Kahungunu and mana whenua in the Ahuriri, Napier area).  

The hapū had seen the deterioration of their whenua and awa and began a kaupapa to restore their taiao/ natural environment. Out of that they established a successful ‘Kaitiaki Ranger Programme’ with qualified kaitiaki rangers trained at the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) and available for environmental contracting work throughout Hawke’s Bay.

The new nursery, which produced 20,000 seedlings in its first year, is on target to have 100,000 seedlings available for next winter. The nursery grew out of the Kaitaiki Programme and its staff completed level four horticultural qualifications, also at  EIT, and developed the nursery during this time. 

Germinating seeds inside tunnelhouse

Tania Basher, a Horticulture Learning Facilitator at EIT,  provided  Te Wai Mauri  Nursery team with technical advice as they developed the nursery and says they were “passionate, dedicated, and hard-working. 

“They’ve been a joy to work with. Kaupapa Māori is incorporated into their work and what they’re achieving is amazing.”

Orders can be placed now to secure plants for the next planting season and plant species lists are available on Te Wai Mauri website.

The team of Kaitiaki Rangers from Te Wai Mauri are also available for environmental contract work including planting riparian areas, maintenance for restoration projects (weed and pest management) and native landscaping. They have qualifications in Growsafe for safe chemical handling, outdoor first-aid, chainsaw, LUV/quad bike licenses, traffic control, fencing, pest management, small engines and also complete day skippers courses. They offer fencing, weed management, planting and pest control.



Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air.


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  1. Ka mau te wehi! Awesome to see tangata whenua step up in the restoration and re-vegetation space, may it go (and grow!) from strength to strength. Nga mihi ki a Waiohiki Marae.

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