Archive for February 25th, 2011


Ti Kouka: a symbol of Christchurch

February 25, 2011
Imagine a distant past where the mist and fog shrouded flatlands, spreading out towards the sea, rich with bird and water life.

There were few landmarks emerging from the mists of what was then essentially swampland. If the hills were obscured by weather there was no way of knowing where you were. That is if it were not for the tī kōuka (cabbage trees) that were carefully planted in significant places to mark out routes across the land like green spiky beacons.

Tī kōuka were prized trees for the Māori of Te Wai Pounamu. Aside from their use as navigational markers, they provided the favoured fibre for fishing due to superior strength and the kōuru or new shoots were an important source of protein in a land where kūmara was difficult if not impossible to grow.

The site of the ancient Waitaha pā, Puari on the banks of Ōtākaro (Avon River) is home to a very old stand of cabbage trees that cluster together in an enduring circle. These trees are the mokopuna (grandchildren) of a great tī kōuka who grew in their place before them. These mokopuna today mark out the circumference of the ancient tree from which they sprung. They are a living memorial to their ancestor. (Read more here)


Cathedral spire

Image Credit:

Faces of the Missing – Quake Victims

Living With the Land, Maori Mythology – New



Image Credit: C.F. Goldie

Cabbage Tree Essence

Keyword: Sovereignty

Positive: True independence of Spirit; able to recognize one’s true priorities and path.

Negative: Negative hereditary beliefs, life patterns and fears around spirituality, religion, losing control mentally.

Further Information: First Light Flower Essences of New Zealand ®

100 Maori words every New Zealander should know – New Zealand History Online