3650 native trees were planted at the Great Living Legends Muck In at Motuihe Island in 2012. This concludes our plantings at Motuihe Island but why not join us at the North Harbour event in…
With the help of volunteers and Rugby Legend Bryan Williams, Living Legends planted a total of 8650 native trees at Motuihe Island. 5000 trees were planted during Rugby World Cup in 2011 and a further 3650 added in 2012. Living Legends plantings at Motuihe Island are now complete however maintenance work will continue for years to come and the current severe drought, while causing some losses in last year’s plantings, has had relatively little impact on what is a very exposed site. Some replanting of the 2012 area will be undertaken despite planting of the site now being complete.
Motuihe Island lies between Motutapu and Waiheke islands in the Hauraki Gulf, near Auckland. The island measures about 179 ha, of which around 18 ha are remnants of coastal forest. The island is a Department of Conservation controlled Recreation Reserve, and is a popular spot for day trips, either by 30-minute ferry trip from Auckland or by private boat. The island is famed for its beautiful beaches.
The name comes from Te Motu-a-Ihenga, meaning ‘Ihenga’s Island’ in Māori.
Motuihe has a colourful history and has hosted tribal battles, people and animals under quarantine, prisoners of war, and dashing young naval officers.
There was a long history of Maori settlement on Motuihe. Two pa were constructed on the island’s headlands, with one – Mangoparerua – noted as an important battle site.
Maru Iwi was the first tribe in the area before the island was conquered by Te Arawa in the 14th century. Later, Ngati Paoa held Motuihe and it was this iwi that was recognised by the Crown as the owners once European visitation to the island began.
In 1872 a ship brought small-pox into Auckland harbour and Motuihe was selected by Auckland’s Board of Health as the site for a human quarantine station. It was used for this purpose again in 1918 when an influenza epidemic swept the country. In 1892, an animal quarantine station was established on the mainland of Motuihe.
During World War 1 Germans living in New Zealand and Samoa were interned in the quarantine station. Prisoners of war were also brought here. At the outbreak of World War 2 the quarantine station was converted and enlarged to become HMNZS Tamaki, a naval training base and part of the coastal defence network. It continued in peacetime to be used for basic training in seamanship, fitness and discipline before moving to the North Shore in 1963.
The formation of the Motuihe Trust in 2000 was the first step in a major restoration initiative which continues today. The Trust operates its own nursery on the island providing eco-sourced plants for revegetation, and through its volunteers has carried out extensive planting on the southern part of the island. Significant conservation work has been carried out on Motuihe and in 2009, fifteen Little Spotted Kiwi were released on the island. As an island, now free of predators and most weeds, Motuihe is an outstanding ecological asset both regionally and nationally.
Rugby Legend - Bryan (Beegee) Williams
It would be hard to think of anyone who made a more monumental contribution to New Zealand and world rugby than Bryan Williams, whose involvement and service to the game has been virtually life-long and has covered all aspects.
As a player Bryan rates as one of the greatest wings produced by New Zealand. And when he retired after a long career he devoted himself to coaching, achieving remarkable results firstly with Auckland and then with Manu Samoa.
Originally a schoolboy league player, Bryan first showed his extraordinary talents as a rugby player while attending Auckland’s Mt Albert Grammar School. In his first class debut in 1968 he scored four tries and kicked two conversions.
Still only 18, Bryan made the Auckland A side in 1969 and that season playing mainly at centre, began to show the pace, power and prodigious sidestep which in 1970 catapulted him into the All Blacks for the 1970 tour of South Africa.
In South Africa Bryan was a sensation, scoring 14 tries in his 13 appearances and in the international series he scored in each of the first and fourth test.
Bryan was always a much respected international and opposing sides feared his strength of running and his physique of 1.78m and weighing in at more than 82kg.
Bryan toured with the All Blacks to Australia, Fiji, Ireland, Wales, England, and France. In all, Bryan played for the All Blacks 113 times and in his 38 tests scored nine tries. In his complete rugby career of 269 first class games Bryan scored 825 points, of which 137 were tries.
Bryan said his proudest rugby achievement was “making the All Blacks at 19, a lifelong dream for him.” When asked if he could give one piece of advice to young people of New Zealand Bryans said “have dreams, set goals, and work hard to realize them.”
After professional rugby, Bryan devoted himself to coaching. He has been involved in coaching with Ponsonby, Auckland. In 2000-01 Bryan was the assistant coach with the Hurricanes in the Super 12, and in recent years he has coached Auckland development sides and been heavily involved with the administration of the Ponsonby club, of which he is a life member.
In 2011 Bryan was appointed the President of the New Zealand Rugby Union. When asked what he thought Rugby World Cup 2011 meant to New Zealand, Bryan said “a wonderful opportunity for rugby, but also for New Zealand, a chance for us to showcase what New Zealand has to offer in tourism, in business and many other facets.”