Tāne Mahuta Public Lecture

In 2009 the NZ Notable Trees Trust and the NZ Arboricultural Association introduced, with great pleasure, the Tāne Mahuta Public Lecture Series. This presentation is named after one of New Zealand’s most significant trees – Tāne Mahuta (Lord of the Forest).

NZARB logo

7th Annual Presentation

as part of the Annual Conference

“Valuable trees from home and abroad”

Mike Wilcox 

6.00pm, Thursday 3rd November 2016 

Grand Millennium Auckland

Free Public Lecture (Gold Coin donation most welcome with proceeds to the NZ Notable Trees Trust)
Download flyer here


General Information

This presentation, and all subsequent lectures, will be a free event open to the public. The Tāne Mahuta Public lectures will cover a diverse range of arboricultural and environmental topics designed to provoke and stimulate.

According to Māori mythology, Tāne is the son of Ranginui the sky father and Papatuanuku the earth mother. Tāne was the child that tore his parent’s parental embrace and once done set about clothing his mother in the forest we have today. All living creatures of the forest are regarded as Tāne’s children.

Tāne is the life giver. All living things are his children. This is the largest living kauri tree in New Zealand. It is difficult to accurately estimate the age of Tāne Mahuta but it may be that Tāne Mahuta sprang from seed around 2000 years ago during the time of Christ. Tāne Mahuta measures 45.20 metres in total height, 17.8 metres in main trunk height, girth of 15.4 metres and a crown spread of 38.4 metres. SOURCE: Dept of Conservation & NZ Notable Trees Trust

The Lecture Series is supported by the Te Roroa development Trust.

The person selected to give the annual lecture will be a suitably eminent person who will be invited to speak on an insightful tree-related subject agreed to by the Notable Trees Trust and NZ Arb.

For more information or to present a future lecture, please contact the New Zealand Notable Trees Trust/NZ Arb via email using the following Contact Form. And click here for the full information flyer.

History of the Presentations

Inaugural Presentation: 19 November 2009, Blenheim
Stephen King from Northland – a well-known and respected ecologist who has devoted many years to the care and conservation of New Zealand’s native landscape – presented the inaugural Tāne Mahuta Arboricultural Lecture on the work that has been done in the magnificent New Zealand Kauri Forest.

2nd Presentation: 11 November 2010, Auckland
Dr Nick Waipara – a well-recognised Landcare Research scientist who has dedicated his career to the biosecurity issues that concern trees in New Zealand. Nick presented his lecture on the issue of Kauri Dieback disease which is adversely affecting the trees in the Waitakere Ranges.

3rd Presentation: 25 October 2012, Wellington
Martin Herbert from Auckland – a past president of the NZ Arboricultural Association and well-known and respected NZ Arborist presented the 3rd Tāne Mahuta Arboricultural Lecture on the history of arboriculture in New Zealand.

4th Presentation: 24 October 2013, Queenstown
Brian French & Will Koomjan from Ascending the Giants (USA) presented the 4th Tāne Mahuta Arboricultural Lecture on Climbing & Documenting the Tree Giants of the Pacific Northwest. Ascending the Giants is a non-profit organisation that produces an ongoing series of expeditions to measure the largest tree of each species. These trees demonstrate the pinnacle of what a species can be; they are called champion trees.

5th Presentation: 16 October 2014, Rotorua
New Zealander Peter Waddell from the Ronin Institute (USA) presented the 5th Tāne Mahuta Arboricultural Lecture on "NZ’s Mighty Trees - What we don’t know and what we should be doing". It is time to take stock of our old growth kauri. Our last remaining big trees are facing renewed disease threats, climate change, and our own ignorance on how to manage them. This presentation takes a look at the fates of the top 20 big kauri listed by the New Zealand Forest Service in the early 1970’s. It will show that conservation of the greatest of these trees in modern times has been a dismal failure. To date, approximately one quarter of these 20 trees are now dead and many of the remainder of them are damaged and or/in dire threat.
6th Presentation: 1 October 2015, Nelson
New Zealander presenter Philip Simpson presented the 6th Tāne Mahuta Arboricultural Lecture on "Native Treelands in New Zealand’s Landscape". The native trees present in our rural landscapes add an indigenous character that show we care about our past. These trees are coming under increasing pressure as our farming practices intensify and so they will need to be carefully managed to ensure their long term retention. This presentation will profile various examples of native treelands around New Zealand, from puriri in the north to cabbage trees in the south, kanuka in the east and kahikatea in the west. Dr Simpson will describe how these treelands developed and explain their values not just to us as travellers, but to the animals we farm. The presentation will look at how our rural trees can be protected and sustainably managed through landscape planning - something New Zealand is very short of.
Encouraging, fostering, improving and educating in all aspects of arboriculture throughout New Zealand.