Thursday, 9 January 2014

Majestic Kauri

Tane Mahuta
Kauri - part of the past New Zealand history long ago. Mighty Kauri symbolic of strength and resilience – “Majesty of the Forest”.  A reminder of its size and longevity in New Zealand’s most famous Kauri “Tane Mahuta” in Waipoua Forest, said to be more than 1500 years old. Another Kauri nearby - “Te Matua Ngahere” - said to be even older estimated at between 2000 and 3000 years old.

Kauri once grew extensively Northwards from Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula and Southwards toward a line Raglan to Tauranga.

 Juvenile Kauri - photo CRB 2009
The light, straight grain, durable timber of Kauri was sought for canoe, ship masts and spars, boat building, railway carriages, house and commercial buildings and furniture making. The gum of the Kauri was sought for the manufacture of paints and resins.  Some found the gum useful for sweetening the breath and as “chewing gum”.
      Kauri 309 road photo J M Stewart 1970's
Today Kauri is a scarce resource treasured and looked after, used only for special purposes. The resilience of Kauri is seen in seedlings springing up on the forest floor and in places, Kauri rearing their majestic crowns above the forest canopy once more.  The Kauri 2000 project is seeing the reestablishment of Kauri, our “majestic tree of the forest,” in planting projects that will see it there for future generations.
Driving on the Kopu - Hikuai highway ( State Highway 25 A ) in 2014 - scenic highway opened in 1967, giving access across the range - can be seen the crowns of kauri trees raising their heads once more above the bush canopy. Near to Tairua / Pauanui off this highway is the Devcich Kauri. Said to be the ninth largest kauri left on the Coromandel Peninsula it is said to measure Girth 10.54 m (34.5'), trunk height 12.55 m (41'), total height 46.5 m (152.5').

Kauri Forest Waitakerei
In The Cyclopaedia of New Zealand, Vol 2, Auckland Province.
Christchurch: Cyclopaedia Company Limited, 1902


Defiant, stood, the Kauri tall, Defiant, against other's  plan.
But, for, a ship's mast and sail,
 The Kauri , fell, at their hand.
 Defiant, lay, the Kauri seed, Defiant, against, other's  toil.
 To overcome,  waste and greed
 Put, new roots down, into the soil. 
 Defiant, grew, the Kauri shoot, Defiant, not, to disappear.
 By sharp, axe and heavy, boot, 
Instead, its crown, it did rear.
 Defiant, grew, the Kauri tree, In spite, of plans, of others
 This, is the way, things will be. 
For the Kauri, is part, of Nature's Plan

Poem by ASB