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Project Mahitahi Community Planting Programme

Bring your family and friends and plant a tree to restore the mighty forests of the Maitai Valley. 

This winter, we’ll be planting the first 12,500 trees (of the total 125,000), including a series of commemorative plantings funded through the Ministry for Primary Industries Matariki tu Rākau programme. 

Saturday 5 June 1.30-3.30pm (postponed from 29 May 2021)

Where: Maitai Mahitahi Wetland, adjacent to the Maitai Campground

What: In partnership with Multicultural Nelson Tasman and Friends of the Maitai, this planting will commemorate the journeys that many people have made to a new home in Nelson Whakatū and celebrate the vibrant community that we are today.  This is year one of a three-year project.

We will provide food and warm drinks to volunteer planters and will have some games and educational opportunities for the younger participants.

Matariki Planting Sunday 11 July 1.00 – 3:00pm

Where: Sunday Hole

What: This three-year project will commemorate Kākati, the common ancestor of six of the iwi of Te Tau Ihu, and who lived approximately 20 generations ago.  Kākati is immortalised in the name of the Wharenui (Meeting House) of Whakatū Marae.  This Matariki event, which will be held here over the next three years continuing the planting down the river esplanade, will commemorate this connection between people and land.  This commemoration was chosen by the Ngāti Koata Kaumātua Council.

Food, education, and entertainment will be provided to volunteer planters.  Keep a lookout for more details on this commemorative event closer to the time.


Sunday 5 September 9:00am-4:00pm

Where: Smiths Ford

What: Get in touch with Project Mahitahi and sign on for a ticket to this event! Commemorating our botanical heritage, in partnership with Friends of the Maitai, join the bus tour to learn more about the Maitai / Mahitahi / Maitahi Valley and the plants and wildlife that can be found here.

We will begin our journey near the Haven to learn about the importance of the estuarine environment for the fish and plants that live in the mixing zone.  Continue up the catchment to hear about an exciting wetland project and the importance and functioning of wetland systems.  At the Maitai Reserve, learn about the forest canopy, and enjoy a picnic lunch (and get a rare peak inside the workings of the Maitai Dam).  We will then head back down stream to Smiths Ford where 1200 plants will extend the existing riparian margins along the river here.  Finish up with a warm drink at Sunday Hole.  Along the way, you will hear insights and perspectives on the cultural significance of the valley, the ecological values, and the history of botanical knowledge – there are some great stories!

The seats will be limited, so sign up and save a place.  Children are welcome but note the length of the day so it may be a more suitable event for older children, who are keen amateur naturalists.