Introduction

2011 marks a festival for rugby, what better way to celebrate than to have local rugby legends stamp their mark on NZ rugby history with a native planting event.

2011 marks a festival for rugby and what better way to celebrate than to honour our local rugby Legends who have stamped their mark on New Zealand rugby history, with a native planting event.

“Project Crimson have been the ‘impact player’ and generously chosen to support East Coast and Poverty Bay Rugby Football Unions to honour their local legends by sponsoring over 1000 plants for the events” says Department of Conservation (DOC) Community Relations Ranger Trudi Ngawhare.

There will be two planting events this weekend; the first on the East Coast, on Saturday 16th July 10.00am meeting at Reporua Marae in Ruatoria to plant a current restoration project initiated by Marae Whanau, He Oranga mo nga taonga tuku iho Trust and DOC. Organisers of the event are encouraging whanau to come along and celebrate their local rugby heroes with the added benefit of planting a legacy to protect the land.

The second event follows on Sunday 17th at 10.00am at the Lytton Road/Parkinson Street Public Reserve with the support of Gisborne District Council and DOC. Poverty Bay Rugby Football Union (PBRFU) will be honouring 17 local legends, such as the regions first All Black Jimmy Mills from 1923-1926 and1930, Richard “Tiny” White representing from 1949-1956, and Ian Kirkpatrick an All Black from 1967 to 1977.

“As Poverty Bay is known for its amazing `can do’ attitude, whanaungatanga (relationships) and spirit we want the WHOLE community involved including preschoolers, school children, clubs – basically anyone who wants to come along with a spade and be a part of history.  The idea is to `leave our mark’ for future generations to remember these `local heroes’” says PBRFU organiser Meredith Stewart.

Project Crimson is national conservation trust with over 20 years experience in community-based native restoration projects.

“Planting native trees is a great way to honour our legends” says Project Crimson trustee Gordon Hosking. “They will be enjoyed through many generations, leaving a legacy to enhance our coast and waterways, just as our rugby heroes have enhanced rugby history."

Background information

  • Information on “Project Crimson” www.projectcrimson.org.nz
  • Department of Conservation and Gisborne District Council support these events to create public awareness around the benefits of streamside planting.
  • East Coast planting event a partnership between Project Crimson, Department of Conservation, He Oranga mo nga taonga tuku iho Trust and East Coast Rugby Football Union
  • Gisborne planting event a partnership between Project Crimson, Department of Conservation, Poverty Bay Rugby Football Union and Gisborne District Council

Poverty Bay players who became All Blacks:

  • Jimmy Mills 1923-26, 30
  • Richard (Tiny) White 1949-1956
  • Brian Fitzpatrick 1951, 53-54
  • Keith Bagley 1953-54
  • Mark Irwin 1955, 56, 58, 60
  • Mick Cossey 1958
  • John Collins 1964-65
  • Ian Kirkpatrick 1967-1977
  • Mike Parkinson 1972-73
  • Lawrie Knight 1974, 76, 77
  • Victor Simpson 1985
  • Gordon Macpherson 1996
  • Rico Gear 2004-2007
  • Hosea Gear 2008-10 

East Coast players who became All Blacks:

  • George Nepia 1924-25,29,30   East Coast 1927-33, 1947
  • Buff Milner 1970  East Coast 1963-65
  • Tori Reid 1935-37  East Coast 1929-30
  • Andy Jefferd 1980-81  East Coast 1978-81
  • Jimmy Mills East Coast 1928

back to top

Back to top