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One Tree Hill gets new trees

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 10/06/2016

2000 Auckland City Council Arborist Tony Searle in 2000, with all that was left of the One Tree Hill pine. © David Hallett/Getty Images 2000 Auckland City Council Arborist Tony Searle in 2000, with all that was left of the One Tree Hill pine. A grove of native trees is being planted on One Tree Hill 15 years after the lone Monterey pine on the Auckland landmark was removed following a chainsaw attack.

There is a ceremony on Saturday for the planting of nine young totara and pohutukawa trees on the site where the pine stood.

In 1994, Maori activist Mike Smith attacked the pine with a chainsaw. There was another chainsaw attack in 1999 and two years later the tree was removed because it was unsafe. No tree has ever been planted to replace it.

Over several years arborists will select the stronger trees from the group being planted until eventually a single totara or pohutukawa remains on the summit.

"One Tree Hill is an iconic New Zealand landmark recognised internationally," says Sam Lotu-Iiga, minister for Pacific peoples and ethnic communities.

"It is a significant step forward to see these trees restore some of the history and pride back to the city of Auckland."

Mayor Len Brown, local elected representatives, iwi and local people are also attending the ceremony.

A native totara on the hill was cut down by a settler in 1850, according to histories written about the area. Sir John Logan Campbell, a wealthy businessman, then planted a grove of trees but only a single Monterey pine survived.

Sir John bequeathed substantial land around the hill, known as Maungakiekie, to the city.

In 1940, the monumental obelisk which stands at the top of One Tree Hill was erected, incorporating his grave.

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