Ngati Whatua bless first tree planted in Aotea Square

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Aotea Square got a colourful new installation today, with Auckland City Mayor John Banks planting the first tree, a native pohutukawa. Representatives of Ngati Whatua were also in attendance, and undertook a traditional blessing to ensure good health and long life of the tree and the square.

Construction on the Aotea Square redevelopment is now taking place around the clock in preparation for the opening in October. Soon landscaping will commence including installation of more trees, paving, seating and lighting. Councillor Greg Moyle, chairperson of the council’s Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee, says a fantastic milestone has been reached by the project.

We are another step closer to completing this extensive upgrade of Auckland’s most loved public square, and look forward to enjoying the results when the square opens in October.” After public consultation in 2008, 63 trees were confirmed to be planted in the square. These include a range of ten native species including nikau, kowhai, pohutukawa, puriri, kauri, kohekohe, karaka, putaputaweta, taraire and totara, in addition to the three pin oaks, which will be retained at the Queen Street entrance.

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