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Here are 10 things that you can do that could help bring native birds back to your garden.

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It’s Arbor Day — a time to plant, nurture and celebrate trees!

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An enthusiastic bunch of Tongan kiwifruit workers learned some new skills and lent a helping hand to a planting project on Motu Trails’ Dunes Trail cycleway recently.

DOC Ranger, Steve Brightwell tells us more…

Tree planting.

Many hands make light work

The Project Crimson tree planting followed a karakia, official speeches, and the unveiling of two six metre pou on a magnificent new section of the Motu Trails’ Dunes Trail cycleway.

The 60 or so people present sheltered from passing showers in a Bay of Plenty Regional Council marquee.

Once the planting was underway it was realised that the size of the task was huge and it became evident reinforcements would be needed to plant the 5,000 trees on hand.

Enter Dave Emslie, Chairman of the Motu Trails Charitable Trust, who also has a finger on the pulse at Opotiki Packing and Coolstores, which processes much of the district’s kiwifruit.

Thinking on his feet, when Dave took a call saying crews had been rained off for the day, he quickly had them into a van and out to Tirohanga, where they were welcomed like the cavalry.

Kiwifruit crew ready for action.

Kiwifruit crew ready for action

After a quick planting lesson with Project Crimson’s Gordon Hosking and Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Land Management Officer, Tim Senior, the kiwifruit crew added some very welcome grunt to the planting project.

OPAC staff get planting instruction from Bay of Plenty Regional Council Land Management Officer Tim Senior.

OPAC staff get planting instruction from Bay of Plenty Regional Council Land Management Officer Tim Senior

DOC Ranger, Pete Livingstone, said the workers arrived at a good time, as many of those who had been there for the 7 am karakia were starting to wilt and there was still plenty to be done.
Project Crimson's Gordon Hosking (bending down) explains the finer points of planting.

Project Crimson’s Gordon Hosking (bending down) explains the finer points of planting

He said although most had only limited English, they enjoyed the opportunity, appreciated the barbecue, and left for their lodgings around mid-afternoon, having given the job a pretty good nudge towards completion.

It was great to see people from all walks of life coming together to help.


The 11 km Dunes Trail runs parallel with the coastline of the Bay of Plenty, starting at the Pakowhai Bridge (Memorial Park Reserve) in the East Coast township of Opotiki.

This is an easy (grade 2) trail that caters for cyclists of all abilities and fitness levels, providing an ideal family day out. The trail has an easy gradient that is enjoyed by walkers, runners and cyclists. The return journey of 22 km can be comfortably ridden in one day from either end – with plenty of time to stop for a swim and a picnic along the way.

Living Legends, a community conservation programme that will see a total of 170,000 native trees planted throughout New Zealand by the end of the year, got underway for its third and final year in Christchurch on Saturday.

Living Legends. Where the field meets the forest.

Established to leave a legacy of New Zealand’s hosting of Rugby World Cup, Living Legends dedicates each planting site to a local “Rugby Legend”.

The programme returns to 14 locations throughout New Zealand this year.

Mucking in! Raumati South and Paraparaumu Beach School students get involved in a Living Legends planting project at Whareroa Farm on the Kapiti Coast, near Paraparaumu.

Mucking in! Raumati South and Paraparaumu Beach School students
get involved in a Living Legends planting project at Whareroa Farm
on the Kapiti Coast, near Paraparaumu

DOC has supported the programme since it kicked off, in the lead up to Rugby World Cup 2011.

Right now we are busy getting everything ready before volunteers and the rugby legends don their gumboots and get the last 41,000 trees in the ground!

The students helped revegetate a fairly large area of Whareroa Farm, which they will be able to monitor and watch slowly turn back into native bush over the years to come.

The students helped revegetate a fairly large area of Whareroa Farm,
which they will be able to monitor and watch slowly turn back
into native bush over the years to come

Check out the Living Legends website for more info and event dates, and get involved in a planting day near you!

2012 Living Legends planting events start soon. Register now for an event near you – it’s free!

In 2011, to celebrate New Zealand’s hosting of Rugby World Cup, 17 Rugby Legends joined thousands of volunteers to plant 83,000 native trees throughout New Zealand. 

This year, Living Legends is returning to 17 locations to plant another 45,000 trees. 

Living Legends is a community conservation project that was set up in 2011 to leave a legacy of New Zealand’s hosting of Rugby World Cup.  It’s a five year project and the target is to plant 170,000 trees before the end of 2015. 

Each planting project is dedicated to a regional ‘Rugby Legend’ who was selected in 2011 by their provincial rugby union. These Rugby Legends are people who have made an outstanding contribution to rugby in New Zealand. 

Living Legends is a joint venture of Project Crimson, an environmental charity with 20 years experience in community-based native restoration projects, and The Tindall Foundation.

DOC has been a partner of Project Crimson since 1990 and we are thrilled to be a major sponsor of Living Legends, along with Meridian Energy. 

All of the sites where Living Legends are planting, aim to have a positive and lasting impact on the social, economic and environmental value of its unique location.  DOC helped Living Legends to select appropriate public spaces for these plantings to ensure that all New Zealanders can enjoy them for years to come. 

Living Legends plantings will enhance some of our most special parks and reserves throughout New Zealand. These are places where we reflect, refresh and can escape the hustle and bustle of our daily lives.

It’s not long until the planting events start for 2012 so the team at DOC are getting our spades ready and hope to see you there! 

The following Rugby Legends will be at the events in August to play their part in helping us plant over 45,000 native trees and shrubs.

  • Sir Colin Meads will be in Taupo
  • Tane Norton will be in Christchurch and Ashburton,
  • Kevin Laidlaw will be in Invercargill,
  • Duane Monkley will be at Lake Areare in the Waikato 
  • Ian MacRae will be at our Napier event,
  • Ian Eliason will be in New Plymouth,
  • Richie Guy will be at our Whangarei event,
  • Kees Meeuws has confirmed for Dunedin
  • Sam Strahan will be in the Manawatu. 

Register for an event near you at www.livinglegends.co.nz. We look forward to seeing you there!