Nursery & Gardens
Restoring native flora and fauna
The ecological restoration project started in 2001 and has transformed the former farm land at Orākei Marae into a thriving, lush, native bushland. The nursery has seen over 500,000 native plants and the staff are now managing contracts with the Auckland City Council. The point of difference for this project is the zero chemicals policy. All weeds are pulled by hand and broken down naturally to be returned to the earth as re-used as compost.
The staff involved with the project know the English, Te Reo Māori, and Latin names for each plant. They also know what each plant is used for and how to use these native plants for everyday use at Orākei Marae. The uses of the plants can range from medicinal to ceremonial.
The Auckland City Mission has been gifted a garden area to grow food to help feed the homeless. They are responsible for looking after the garden and from this learn many skills.
Since the restoration project was introduced many of our native birds have returned to the area. It is common to hear the sweet sound of a Tui as they flitter through the Kowhai trees. Piwaiwaka play effortlessly among the branches and the Pukeko stride across the hillside.
“Really interesting. We had Tom, our Maori guide, all to ourselves for this walk. The most challenging thing was to find the museum in...”