The seeds of a future ngahere (forest) for Wynyard Point

11 March 2024

  • Wynyard Quarter
  • News

From small seeds grow mighty trees...

The future regeneration of Wynyard Point is starting small: with tiny seeds collected from across Tāmaki Makaurau that will eventually become a ngahere (forest) on Auckland’s city centre waterfront.

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“...we are aiming to establish a thriving, robust ecosystem that will reflect the natural structure of coastal ngahere.”

Priority Location Director for City Centre
Fiona Knox

A new public open space is being planned for the northern end of Wynyard Point, a place that was closed off to public access and known as the ‘tank farm’ as it was the site of bulk-liquid storage tanks that serviced the industries of Auckland.

This industrial use left the site contaminated, so remediation work has been undertaken to get the site ready for public use.

The regeneration programme called ‘Te Ara Tukutuku’, will see the site healed and formed into a new public open space that will lift, restore and enhance the mauri (life essence) of the moana (harbour), the whenua (land) and tangata (people) who use this space.

Eke Panuku, Auckland Council’s urban regeneration agency responsible for the award-winning planning and development of Wynyard Quarter has been co-designing and developing the Te Ara Tukutuku vision with Ngā Iwi Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau and design collective Toi Waihanga.

Part of healing the land includes planting native seeds sourced from multiple nearby locations in a potential purpose-built nursery on site (Te Uru Tukutuku Nursery) at Wynyard Point.

Once germinated, the seedlings will be nurtured until they are planted in their long-term home over the next 10-15 years, creating a coastal ngahere that is acclimatised to the specific conditions of this site.  

Fiona Knox, Priority Location Director for City Centre Major Projects at Eke Panuku said: “What we are creating here has the potential to be a very unique and meaningful place for Auckland. 

“As part of our process to heal this land, we are aiming to establish a thriving, robust ecosystem that will reflect the natural structure of coastal ngahere.”

Recently, a seed sourcing expedition led by Charmaine Bailie and the Uru Whakaaro team ventured into Wai Manawa / Le Roys Bush Reserve.

Charmaine Bailie says: “The seed collecting is a special process that anyone with training can be involved in.  It enables people to play a part in the long-term future of the city.

“Our role is to identify the seeds, check for ripeness of the seeds and overall health of the plant before collection. We then record all these details so there are no surprises when the seeds germinate in the nursery!”

The seeds were sorted at an event at Wynyard Quarter the day after they were collected. The colourful, messy process of sorting seeds was enjoyed by many people of all ages. A highlight was the harakeke, leaving people with henna-like stains on their fingers for a couple of days – a lingering memory of a few hours spent investing in the future of this special part of Tāmaki Makaurau.

The seeds were sorted at an event at Wynyard Quarter the day after they were collected. The colourful, messy process of sorting seeds was enjoyed by many people of all ages. A highlight was the harakeke, leaving people with henna-like stains on their fingers for a couple of days – a lingering memory of a few hours spent investing in the future of this special part of Tāmaki Makaurau.

Facts and figures

  • Seeds will be collected from eight sites across the region.
  • Seed from forest giants including kauri, tōtara, and kahikatea, along with broadleaf species and understorey layers are being collected.
  • This first effort resulted in seeds being collected from a number of species including tī kōuka, tainoka, kāramuramu, karo, and rengarenga.

Join us

If you would like to be part of the journey to regenerate this space we would love you to join us. Please drop us a line at tearatukutuku@ekepanuku.co.nz. You can find out more about the Te Ara Tukutuku project here.

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