Community News

How our latest wānanga is building stronger ecosystems from the smallest seed

How does the small action of collecting wild seeds lead to the bigger picture of thriving ecological areas? Discover all the details from our busy day with Ngāti Tahu – Ngāti Whaoa.

Seeds are prepped and planted in the nursery.

On a sunny day in March, Wairakei Estate and Ngāti Tahu – Ngāti Whaoa held a small wānanga. We came together to propagate seeds, the first phase in a process which sees wild seeds nurtured into healthy seedlings for upcoming planting days. 

In preparation, seeds were collected by the Wairakei team from the Pueto, Sexton and Paetataramoa stream catchment areas. These included māhoe, kānuka, makomako (wineberry), shiny karamū, tōtara, putaputāwētā and kōhūhū. 

Seeking out seeds from this area is not only eco-friendly, it also fulfils planting needs in a full circle way. The resulting seedlings will be planted back into their original riparian zones — an important step in our collaborative efforts with Ngāti Tahu – Ngāti Whaoa towards the ecological restoration of these areas.

The day was full of activity, with seeds prepped and planted in the nursery. We also gathered the likes of toetoe, ti kouka, pittosporum colensoi and coprosma rigida seeds from the area around the Wairakei Estate office — asking questions and sharing knowledge about the propagation and care of these native plants. As we worked, we snacked on freshly plucked tōtara berries — so sweet and delicious! 

The Wairakei team will care for the growing seedlings until the spring, when we look forward to welcoming back Ngāti Tahu – Ngāti Whaoa to transplant the seedlings in preparation for their final phase — returning to the banks of the streams from which they came.

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