Coronation of King Charles III commemorated with tree planting

Published on 24 May 2023

Tree planting ceremony at Laurie Hall Park.

The coronation of His Majesty King Charles III was commemorated on 15 May 2023 when members of Ngā Hapū o Whangārei and we planted a young pūriri tree in Laurie Hall Park.

The tree was one of 100,000 purchased through Government’s $1 million contribution the Trees That Count campaign.

Laurie Hall Park

The plantings, in partnership with the Department of Conservation, aligned with King Charles’s lifelong interest in environmental conservation, and will create a living legacy to benefit all New Zealanders, provide more resilience against climate change.

Ngā Hapū o Whangārei supported the planting in honour of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, which was signed in the time of Queen Victoria. The long association of the Tai Tokerau tribes with the Monarch began in 1831 when Ngāpuhi chiefs corresponded with King William IV.

This resulted in the signing in 1835 of He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nū Tīreni (Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand) which enabled Māori to form a treaty with Great Britain five years later in 1840.

Pictured holding the spade with Mayor Vince Cocurullo is 86 year-old hapū member Anne Davies (nee Malcolm) whose ancestor Hōri Tahua and ancestress Te Rangitopeora were among the signatories to Te Tiriti o Waitangi in 1840.

During the planting, Anne reflected on the time Queen Elizabeth II visited Whangārei following her Coronation in 1953, recounting how the Queen stayed at the Grand Hotel and received the Whangārei people from the balcony.