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Living legacy fit for a King


The latest trees to put down roots in Centennial Park, Taradale, have the potential to thrill local nature lovers for the next millennium.

Oak, pūriri and tōtara are among the most long lived trees in New Zealand. Healthy specimens have been known to live well beyond 1000 years. In the right conditions, these leafy wonders can also grow up to 40 metres high.

Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise says it is fitting that the country’s coronation gift to King Charles III acknowledges his passion for the environment and conservation. “The oak planted in his honour is only a short distance from the one planted last year to remember the long reign of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. These trees, along with the others planted this week, are beautiful, lasting additions to the park which all our community can enjoy.”

A plaque was also unveiled at the planting. It reads: “This tree was planted to mark the Coronation of His Majesty Charles III, King of New Zealand, on 5 May 2023. Māku te rā e tō ana; kei a koe te urunga ake o te rā” (Let mine be the setting sun; yours is the dawning of a new day).

The Tom Parker fountain will also be lit in purple to mark the coronation.

Councils throughout NZ have been planting trees for He Rā Rākau Tītapu – King Charles III Coronation Planting.

A tōtara was planted at Parliament on 26 April to signal the start of the nationwide push for planting.

A donation of $1 million has been made to Trees That Count, Project Crimson’s flagship programme, as New Zealand’s gift to mark the coronation. The programme’s goal is to use this fund to plant more than 100,000 native trees.

The Queen’s oak planting was inspired by The Queen’s Green Canopy movement, initially formed to mark her Platinum Jubilee year.

Napier’s previous royal tree, also an oak, was planted to commemorate the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth’s grandparents, in 1911. It reached the ripe old age of 100 before a couple of days’ worth of heavy rain saturated the soil, causing it to topple, in 2011.


Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise, pictured with the English oak, assisted by Yeva Ustyuzhanina, Napier Youth Council chair.




5 May 2023

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