NEWS


 

Welcoming Welcome Swallows

Skipper Chris' secret warou nest spot

Rosemary Cole

Under the water tower’s wooden walkway, there’s a  warou (welcome swallow) nest. It’s at the farthest end from the Visitor Centre and safely above the water level of the Lower Lake. This high sided, round nest is made of compacted mud and twigs and is on a concrete ledge.

Did you know?

Learn about kōtukutuku / tree fuchsia

Rosemary Cole

Did you know ZEALANDIA has a hermaphrodite tree? It is the kōtukutuku or tree fuchsia (Fuchsia excorticata). Kōtukutuku trees can be either female or hermaphrodite (which means they have both male and female flower parts). Hermaphrodite kōtukutuku trees can fertilise themselves.

Happy Housewarming!

Juvenile tuatara released back to 'wild'

Rosemary Cole

“ If you go out in [ZEALANDIA] today, you`re sure of a big surprise “, because there are no juvenile tuatara in their former glass nursery. Six juvenile tuatara were judged to have grown big enough to cope in the wild. They were also judged to be healthy, so were moved into the wild to protect them from a fungal disease primarily affecting tuatara in captivity.

Heritage Dams

Rosemary Cole

On earlier visitor maps,  ZEALANDIA`s Lower Dam was referred to as The Lower Lake and the Upper Dam as the Upper Lake. Originally, however, The Lower Dam was named The Lower Reservoir, which was an earth dam completed in 1878. Due to the European settlers wanting farmland, large fires in 1850 and 1860 cleared that area of its broadleaf forest. Some of the valley was farmed uptil 1906, then any remaining catchment area was bought for waterworks.

Matariki from a Historical Perspective

Rosemary Cole

Historically, te reo Māori was an oral language and Matariki (Māori New Year) was a time when knowledge was shared orally, as in reciting whakapapa (family trees). Matariki was also a time when legends were passed on orally.

One such legend is about Tāne-mahuta – the guardian spirit of the forest and the god of light. He pushed Rangi-nui (Sky Father) and Papa-tū-ā-nuku (Earth Mother) apart, so that he and his brothers had more light and space. One of Tāne-mahuta’s many brothers was Tāwhiri-mātea, the god of wind and storms. Tāwhiri-mātea was angry about his parents being forcibly separated and cried seven tears that became the seven stars of Matariki.

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