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Tree Information x

Identifier: CR/G1786
Tree Type: Group
Registered By: Cadwallader, B.G.
Registration Category: Historic tree/s – Local interest
General Notes:
This prominent group of tī kōuka/cabbage trees are well documented with several online sources referencing them.

The plaque beneath the trees reads “These historic cabbage trees were a landmark used by early Maori and Early Settler alike when proceeding to Kaiapoi and points North and West to guide them between the Riccarton and Papanui Swamps. This seat and plaque erected by the Canterbury Pilgrims & Early Settlers Association 1961”

The cluster of trees was known to early Waitaha and Ngāi Tahu as 'Te Herenga Ora' and was used as a landmark by Māori travellers to help guide them from Rāpaki and Te Waihora through treacherous swampland to the Ngāi Tahu pā of Kaiapoi (W.A. Taylor, Lore and History of the South Island Māori, Bascands, Christchurch, NZ, 1952).

The High School has taken inspiration from the trees in their school crest and Latin motto 'Recte Sic Dirige Cursum', which translates 'Along this path direct your journey correctly', in reference to them.

It is a self-perpetuating clump with currently at least 10 trees of varying age and health. As old trees die they are replaced by new trees thus maintaining a continued presence at this location.

The group are being well cared for by the school – in particular, they have been fenced off from lawn mowing activity and a seating feature made around them.

They are protected on the Christchurch City District Plan but in 2015 they were proposed to be dropped from the schedule as they were assessed to be in poor health and having a life-expectancy of 5-10 years. This was challenged and they remain protected to this day (Cadwallader, B.G., 2021).

Group Details

Group Type: Single species
Feature Tree Genus: Cordyline
Feature Tree Species: australis
Feature Tree Common Names: cabbage tree, tī kōuka
QE II Covenanted: No
NZ Indigenous Bush type: Default Value
Given Name: Te Herenga Ora
Actual Planting Date: actual date not specified
Approx. Planting Date:
e.g. circa. 1860
Current Age: not known years
Tree Health Description: They appear to be in good health
Local Protection Status: Yes
Tree Present: Yes
Number of Trees: 10
Area Covered: (none)
Group of Tree Type: Bush Remnant


Date Observer Action
14 Dec 2021 Cadwallader, B.G.


Lat/Long: -43.508855900297874 / 172.57593083470994
Location Name: Burnside High School
Address: 151 Greers Road
Suburb: Burnside
City/Town: Christchurch
Region: Canterbury
Location Description: In the southern corner of the school grounds.
Public Accessibility: School/University
Local Authority: Christchurch City Council


Preview Credit Date
Brad Cadwallader 12 Mar 2016
Brad Cadwallader 12 Mar 2016
Christchurch Star 18 Dec 1967
Burnside High School Archives: Principal James Cross welcomes the first students 02 Feb 1960
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