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Next WWI Memorial Forest planting is in Pauanui

Next WWI Memorial Forest planting is in Pauanui

The next planting session for the WWI Memorial Forest is to take place at Tangitarori Lane, in Pauanui, at 11am on 5 September.

This section of the forest commemorates the Sinai-Palestine campaign in which 640 New Zealand soldiers were killed.

Children from Hikuai School are helping with the planting of two signature pohutukawa trees plus four kauri that will honour four local men who fell in the campaign. It is intended to plant a total of 200 native trees before summer at the site next to the Tairua River estuary – a Council reserve at the end of Tangitarori Lane’s long, straight section. The remainder of the trees, to bring the total up to 640, will be planted over the next few years.

The new Pauanui-Tairua trail passes the site, allowing walkers and joggers a place to pause and reflect.

“It’s an amazing community project that will recognise the men who died and regenerate the area in native trees,” says Tairua-Pauanui Community Board member Kim Coppersmith, who has been closely involved in the project.

The Memorial Forest is an initiative of our Council, and has the support of the Hikuai District Trust, RSAs, schools, service clubs, iwi, community groups, the Department of Conservation, Wintec and Waikato Regional Council, with 10 different sites across the Coromandel that will commemorate different battles or aspects of the war.

There have already been plantings in:

• Thames – 249 trees were planted on 11 August to represent that number of Thames men who were killed

• Whangamata – A Council reserve has been renamed Le Quesnoy Park, to commemorate the 1918 battle of that name. There will be a special ceremony on the 4 November anniversary of the battle.

• Coromandel Town – the first 100 totara and kahikatea trees of an eventual 1000 were planted on 31 July. The site at Hauraki Road represents Supreme Sacrifice.

• Cathedral Cove – This site represents Gallipoli, where 2,779 New Zealanders were killed. The Memorial Forest was officially launched on 5 June, Arbour Day, by Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry, with the planting of 100 trees at the site.

• At the new Mercury Bay cemetery and Tairua’s RSA cemetery.

Get involved in the project

We’re asking people to please help the project by donating $100 to the cost of a tree or by joining in on the plantings, or both. You can also choose to donate $150 and plant the tree yourself.
There are three ways to donate:

1. You can dedicate the tree to a specific NZ soldier who was killed in the war. That tree gets planted in the Memorial Forest site dedicated to that particular battle or campaign.

2. You can dedicate a tree to the “unknown soldier”;

In these two cases you receive a memorial certificate that includes the GPS co-ordinates of the tree you’ve donated.

3. Or, you can gift a tree on behalf of your family without necessarily having a specific soldier in mind who was killed in the war. You’ll receive a memorial certificate but no GPS location.

To donate please go to the donate page on our website www.tcdc.govt.nz/donatetree

There are still lots of opportunities to get involved, contact our Economic Development Programme Manager Ben Dunbar-Smith on 07 868 0200 or email at ben.dunbar-smith@tcdc.govt.nz

For more information on the New Zealand World War One Memorial Forest and all its sites across our District, see our project page www.tcdc.govt.nz/ww1memorialforest


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