The idea to establish a native tree nursery was developed as a result of the need to regenerate 640 hectares of the Whirinaki Forest from pine to native. This need is part of the settlement between Ngāti Whare and the Crown. The section that the nursery is established on, is the old Forest Service building. As part of the settlement, Ngāti Whare, through a joint trust with the Crown were asked to regenerate the land back to its former state as part of the Whirinaki Forest Park. From this agreement with the Crown, Ngāti Whare will use the Minginui nursery to grow the native trees so that once the pine trees are harvested, these can be replanted with native.
The Minginui Nursery will give Ngāti Whare the ability to grow sufficient stems to facilitate the regeneration of the Whirinaki Forest, and provide stems for the growth and development of a native commercial forest industry via a vegetation propagation technique developed by Scion. The Nursery provides an opportunity to make commercial plantation of native forests a reality.
By providing employment for locals within Minginui, the nursery provides Ngāti Whare with a real opportunity to lift economic development within the region.
Minginui is a small town located in the Bay of Plenty region, within the Whakatāne District in the North Island of New Zealand. Minginui has a total population of 1,335 people (2013 Census). The population reached its peak during the 1980’s due to the significant participation within the forestry industry. The population has since declined due to the sale of plantation forests in 1989 and disestablishment of the Forest Service, causing a significant amount of job losses in and around Minginui.
Whirinaki Forest is one of the most remarkable forests in New Zealand and is home to Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tāne Forest Park, a popular conservation park providing a range of walking and tramping tracks, mountain biking tracks and camping, all among the breath-taking beauty that Whirinaki Forest has to offer. The towering kahikatea, tōtara, mātai, rimu, miro and tawa are captured within the forest and are what Whirinaki Forest is best-known for.
Whirinaki Forest is located between the central volcanic plateau and mountain axis of the North Island. The forest park within Whirinaki Forest contains elements of volcanic and non-volcanic landforms and soils, and the plant and animal life reflects these differences.