This upcoming planting season will see the first 26,000 plants of the total 125,000 being planted throughout the catchment, including through a series of commemorative plantings funded through the Ministry for Primary Industries' (MPI) Matariki tu Rakau programme.

Matariki tu Rakau supports tree planting to commemorate the contribution that people and their work have made to our region. There are some remarkable stories to be celebrated.

Bring your family and friends along to plant a tree for the future and help restore the mighty forests of the Maitai.

Project Mahitahi is grateful for the assistance provided through MPI, and our community partners who are commemorating the people and events that have helped shape the place we live in today.

Saturday 5 June, 1.30pm-3.30pm now postponed until further notice because of wet weather.

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.

Sunday 11 July, 1pm-3pm

Matariki is the name given to the cluster of stars, also known as Pleiades, that rise in midwinter.  It is a time to remember those who have passed in the previous year, and to celebrate new beginnings. It is a time to plant for the future.

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 (see the Prow website for more details).

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 look out for more details on this commemorative event closer to the time. 

Sunday 5 September, 9am- 4pm

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 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 downstream to Smiths Ford where 1200 plants will extend the existing riparian margins along the river. 

Finish up with a warm drink at Sunday Hole. Along the way, you will hear insights and perspectives on the cultural significance of the Maitai, 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.

Other commemorative events happening

The Cawthron Institute will also be undertaking a commemorative planting to celebrate 100 years of science in Nelson, and the contribution of Thomas Cawthron as part of their centennial year.  

Nelson College for Girls students will plant a commemorative planting, near Nile Street, acknowledging the contribution of Kate Edgar, the first principal of Nelson College for Girls and the first woman in the commonwealth to receive a Bachelor of Arts – a commemoration of women in education in a place of long-standing significance to the generations of students at the College.

To receive early notification of these planting events, and to keep up to date with any changes to these events because of weather or unforeseen circumstances, sign up to our mailing list.  From time to time we will also send out a short newsletter to let you know about what we have been doing and how work is progressing across the next five years of this restoration project.
Email project.mahitahi@ncc.govt.nz or call Alesia on 03 546 0232.