Yellowing kauri leaves

Image: Laura Honey | DOC


Kauri are amongst the world's mightiest trees, growing to over 50 m tall, with trunk girths up to 16 m, and living for over 2,000 years.

Kauri forests once covered 1.2 million ha from the far north of Northland to Te Kauri, near Kawhia and were common when the first people arrived around 1,000 years ago.

Significant kauri, like Tane Mahuta and Te Matua Ngahere, are more than just trees. They are a presence that connect us with the past and those who have stood and gazed up at them over hundreds and hundreds of years.

Kauri create shelter and nourishment for other species to grow and are a cornerstone of the indigenous forests of the upper North Island. A number of plants are found only, or primarily, in association with kauri – when kauri disappear, the kauri forest goes too. 

Kauri are a taonga species for Māori and have significant value for our:

  • ecosystem
  • historic heritage
  • cultural values
  • tourism industry
  • national identity.

More about why it matters

More about the history of kauri

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