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Our story about native tree planting – Cam and Hinewai Ormsby

Cam and Hinewai Ormsby

Written by Hinewai Ormsby

The Mauri or life-force of our natural world is something that is intrinsic to who we are as a whanau. We’re highly aware of the challenge our natural world faces environmentally, and we take our responsibility as a whānau seriously to ensure we do our bit to make sure that we have something to pass onto the next generation. 

We started becoming aware that our environment wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, particularly after we went swimming in the Tūtaekurī River and noticed about a dozen cows wading in the river upstream of us. 

We decided then and there that as a family we’d do our bit to make sure the waterways that we whakapapa/descend from were healthy and alive, and planting native trees was a relatively simple and natural thing that we could do. Becoming a Regional Councillor was my second way to do this but getting our hands dirty and effecting change from the ground up is where real change happens.

So in 2017 my husband Cam and I started growing native trees at home in a tree nursery built from scratch down the side of our whare/house at our Papakāinga in Waiohiki. In 2018 these first trees were big enough to be planted out in the big wide world, so we then called around for waterways to plant up and found an abandoned wet area wanting to become a wetland alongside Prebensen Drive. This planting area was on the side of the Taipo Stream that then feeds into the Ahuriri Estuary where we planted 1,500 trees with the help of our friends and community helpers. Fast forward to this year and we’ll have planted 10,000 native trees all grown at home by Cam and I. These trees have been planted along Napier’s urban waterways, and on farm streams that feed into the Ahuriri Estuary. This means there’s 10,000 more trees providing literally hundreds of kilos of food for birds and insects each year, and a few kilometres of planted up stream edges filtering and shading waterways. 

This isn’t something that we get paid or reimbursed for, it’s just something that we do because it’s within the scope of our ability to do. We see it as our responsibility as kaitiaki to do our bit to realise the world we want and the world we need. Because at the heart of it here in Hawke's Bay if everybody did their bit we could have a mind blowing environment where our natural world is in a fantastic state which in turn will make us thrive as a region. 

So in July we've organised two weekends to get out and plant trees along waterways here in Napier where we need the community's help to get them in the ground. So please bring a spade and a drink bottle, rug up the kids and don the gumboots and come help us do the mahi/work to create the world we want and the world that our children have the right to inherit. 

Our planting dates and locations are:

Sunday 18 July 9am - 11am @ 298 Hedgeley Rd, Eskdale, Napier 

Saturday 31 July 9am - 11am @ Corner of Harold Holt & Ulyatt Rd, Pirimai, Napier 

So please join us! Ready cooked sausages with bread and tomato sauce are also in the mix so don’t miss out

14 July 2021

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