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New rare species planted at ZEALANDIA
ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary

New rare species planted at ZEALANDIA

The rare, parasitic plant pua o te Rēinga/dactylanthus taylorii has now officially been planted in the sanctuary. This project was a historic first with selected representatives from across all six iwi within the Greater Wellington Region being heavily involved in the translocation.

A rōpū/group from Otari Wilton’s Bush, Zealandia, DOC and iwi drove up to Pureora Forest Park where the seeds were gifted over during two meaningful days of important connection and kōrero/talking.

Terese McLeod our Lead Ranger, Bicultural Engagement was pivotal in this mahi/work. “Pua o te Rēinga is bringing about an historic first – where iwi across the Greater Wellington Region; Rangitāne, Ngāti Kahungunu, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Te Āti Awa ki Whakarongotai and Raukawa are collaborating collectively for the survival and advocacy of this rare and declining species” she says.

“During initial discussions of returning this plant to Wellington, we learnt of a small population in the Wairarapa and Waikanae and so it made sense to work together, to help pua o te Rēinga in Wellington and these other locations. Because we are all so close geographically, by sharing knowledge about dactylanthus on the translocation it allows us to stretch the plant across our whenua, including islands, to provide optimal opportunities for its survival.”

This journey has facilitated the sharing of knowledge about this plant, both from a western science and mātauranga Māori perspective. While the seeds are now in the ground, this is just the beginning of the story both for the plant, and for the group of people who are now united through its arrival.


Photos by Manaaki Barrett

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