Planting at Ruapeka Rotorua Indigenous Arts Festival

Pānui pāpāho | Media release

6 September 2019

Locals invited to plant natives at Ruapeka before Aronui Māori Market starts

Five hundred native plants will be planted along the Ruapeka before artists take the stage at this month’s Aronui Māori Market at Ōhinemutu in Rotorua.

Te Kōmiro o te Utuhina is inviting local residents to join them on Sunday 15 September from 10.30am for the mass planting, before the Aronui Māori Market kicks-off at midday.

Greg Allen pictured with sons, Taokahu & Reone.

The market is to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori and will showcase live performances from the Harmonic Resonators, Korean duo Daniel & Ashley, Rotorua’s own Native Nations, Toi Ohomai students, and a local haka group. There will also be kai, clothing and arts & crafts stalls.

Te Kōmiro o te Utuhina member, Greg Allen, says the group is made up of iwi members, Ōhinemutu residents, and people who are genuinely interested in the water and getting it back to its former self.

“It’s not purely a Māori thing – it’s a community thing. Waterways have become a really hot topic over recent times. We have a contrast issue because at the source it’s beautiful, but the mouth of the Utuhina is disgusting. I wouldn’t recommend anyone swim in there – which is sad because growing up in Ōhinemutu, I have lots of good memories swimming in the Utuhina Stream with my cousins.

“During the Aronui planting, we’ll be planting in the Ruapeka Bay area and along the Utuhina Stream to help prevent erosion and it also helps to keep the water clean. While we’ll focus on that area, we’ll talk about what we’ve been doing over the past two years, which has included planting in other areas, pest control, and pollution contaminants.”

Mr Allen says the Aronui Indigenous Arts Festival has a great programme that he’s keen to check out.

“Any positive Māori event is good for the whole community. The programme has a bit of variety, and a few of those events are free which is great.”

The plants for Aronui Māori Market planting were kindly funded by Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Volunteers need to wear warm clothes, shoes/boots they don't mind getting dirty, a spade/shovel, gloves, bottled water (preferably not a plastic one) and lots of energy.

Performers coming to Aronui Māori Markets; Native Nations (Top left), Daniel & Ashley (Top right) and Harmonic resonators (Bottom)