One Tree Hill, New Zealand

One Tree Hill

One Tree Hill after the removal of the "One Tree". The image does not show the suburban surroundings.
Elevation 182 m (597 ft)
Location North Island, New Zealand
Coordinates 36°54′0″S 174°46′59″E / 36.9°S 174.78306°E / -36.9; 174.78306Coordinates: 36°54′0″S 174°46′59″E / 36.9°S 174.78306°E / -36.9; 174.78306
Volcanic arc/belt Auckland volcanic field
Location of One Tree Hill in the Auckland area.
One Tree Hill with tree, in 1996.

One Tree Hill (also known as Maungakiekie) is a 182 metre volcanic peak located in Auckland, New Zealand. It is an important memorial place for both Māori and other New Zealanders. The suburb around the base of the hill is also called One Tree Hill; it is surrounded by the suburbs of Royal Oak to the west, and clockwise, Epsom, Greenlane, Oranga, and Onehunga.

The hill's scoria cones was erupted from three craters - one is still intact and two have been breached by lava flows that rafted away part of the side of the scoria cone. Lava flowed in all directions creating lava flows that covered an area of 20 square kilometres, many towards Onehunga, making it the largest (in terms of area covered) of the Auckland volcanic field. The age or eruption is currently unknown, although it is older than 28,500 yrs as it has a mantling of volcanic ash erupted at that time from Three kings Volcano. The summit provides views across the Auckland area, and allows visitors to see both of Auckland's harbours.[1]

Due to the use of the hilltop as a nightly party stop for boy racers and other (often drunk) groups of youths, it was decided in 2008 to close off the road access to the summit at night. While walking up to the hilltop will still be possible at night, it is hoped that this move will reduce vandalism. The police intend to continue monitoring the locality after hours.[2]



Māori pā (fort)

The Māori name Maungakiekie translates to 'mountain of the kiekie vine',[3] though other translations give the meaning as 'totara that stands alone'.[2] The mountain and its surrounds were home to the Te Wai ō Hua tribe, since the early 1700s and probably before that time. Other Māori tribes in the Auckland area can also trace their ancestry to the mountain.

Maungakiekie was the largest and most important Māori Pā in pre-European times. The cone and its surroundings are estimated to have been home to a population of up to 5,000.[4] At this time, the Nga Marama chief Kiwi Tamaki held the pa and used its strategic placement to exact tribute from travellers passing from Northland to the rest of the North Island through the rich isthmus. Its position between the Waitemata Harbour to the East (opening upon the Pacific Ocean) and the Manukau Harbour to the West (opening onto the Tasman Sea) offered a wide variety of seafood from the two harbours. The volcanic soil of the slopes of the mountain proved highly fertile and easy to defend from raiding parties from other tribes due to its steep sides and imposing palisades. The inhabitants terraced the hill extensively, and it is considered to be the largest prehistoric earthwork fortifications worldwide.[5] It is also the largest and most complex volcanic cone / earth fortress known in the Southern Hemisphere.[4]

European parks

The area contains two parks, Cornwall Park & One Tree Hill Domain, which are next to each other and thus often perceived as one.

In 1845 the Ngati Whatua, with the concurrence of representatives of the Waiohua people, sold a block of land which included One Tree Hill to a merchant, Thomas Henry. The Government under its preemptive rights excluded 115 acres of the hill itself from the sale and this was vested in the Crown. This is now One Tree Hill Domain.[6] In 1853 Brown & Campbell purchased Henry's land surrounding the recently protected One Tree Hill Domain. This land ultimately became Cornwall Park in 1901.[7]

Cornwall Park

Cornwall Park is the legacy of Sir John Logan Campbell. Originally the land was a farm owned by him on the outskirts of Auckland. Upon his return from Italy in the 1880s he intended to build a great family residence on the slopes of the hill (where the current tearooms are) and planted many trees including olives on the slopes. Eventually he constructed a house closer to town (the land is now part of the Parnell Rose gardens). By about 1900 he realised that Auckland's suburbs were spreading at an alarming rate and he decided to leave the Greenlane property to the city as a park. Parts of the park, about 120 hectares (296.5 acres), are still run as a farm today, providing Aucklanders with access to an example of rural life in the heart of the city.[8] The park was designed by the landscape architect Austin Strong and is based on Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.[9][10]

Campbell initially intended the name to be Corinth Park after the noted region in Greece. It received the name Cornwall Park because of the Royal visit to Australia and New Zealand in 1901 by the Duke & Duchess of Cornwall (later King George V & Queen Mary). John Logan Campbell was asked to be honorary Mayor of Auckland during the visits, and he took the opportunity to gift the park to the people of New Zealand and asked that it be called Cornwall Park. In return he was knighted.

Acacia Cottage

Cornwall Park is home to Acacia Cottage, one of the earliest surviving timber buildings in New Zealand, and also the oldest extant in Auckland. Built in 1841, it was originally the home of William Brown and John Logan Campbell and located behind their store. It was relocated in 1920 from its original location off Shortland Street, in what is now the heart of the CBD of Auckland City. In 1956 moved again within the park to a more prominent location. It is listed as a 'Category I' site by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.[11]

Stardome Observatory

The Stardome Observatory (previously known as Auckland Observatory), is also located within Cornwall Park, and contains two telescopes and a planetarium. The observatory has, amongst other research, discovered and named the asteroid 19620 Auckland. Its current functions combine entertainment and education (via the planetarium and via public access to the older telescope) as well as ongoing research with both telescopes. It is operated by a charitable trust.

Detail of the obelisk.

One Tree Hill Domain

One Tree Hill Domain or Maungakiekie (118 acres / 48 hectares) is an Auckland City Council-administered park adjoining Cornwall Park (425 acres / 172 hectares) creating a total of 220 hectares (540 acres) of public green space.[12]

On the summit of the hill is the grave of Sir John Logan Campbell surmounted by an obelisk. The obelisk was constructed in accordance with the wishes and provisions in John Campbell's will to commemorate his admiration for the Māori people. Before it stands a bronze statue of a Māori warrior. The stone obelisk was completed by 1940 – the centennial year of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi but the unveiling of the obelisk was delayed until 24 April 1948, after World War II was over, in keeping with Māori custom of not holding such ceremonies during a time of bloodshed.

Trees on the hill

When Auckland was founded as a colonial town a tree stood near the summit which gave the hill its English name. Two accounts identify it as a pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa). This tree was cut down by a white settler in 1852, in an act of vandalism in one account,[citation needed] or for firewood in another.[2] It seems likely this was a different tree from the totara (Podocarpus totara) which, as a sacred tree, had given the hill one of its Maori names. A radiata pine was planted in the 1870s to replace the previous totara.[13] John Logan Campbell repeatedly tried to grow native trees on the hill's summit, but the trees failed to survive - with only two pines, originally part of a shelter belt for the native trees, surviving for long. However, in 1960, one of the two was felled in another attack,[2] possibly for firewood.[citation needed]

Crater of One Tree Hill and Auckland city in Background.

The remaining tree was later attacked twice with chainsaws by Māori activists to draw attention to injustices they believed the New Zealand government had inflicted upon Maori (as the tree was not a native New Zealand species, they considered it an appropriate target). The first attack happened on 28 October 1994, the anniversary of the 1835 Declaration of Independence.[14] A second attack on 5 October 2000[15] left the tree unable to recover even though substantial efforts were made, and so it was removed on 26 October due to the risk of it collapsing.[2] The chainsaw used in the first attack was later placed on sale on popular New Zealand auction site, TradeMe in 2007,[16] but later withdrawn by the website after complaints and a poll of users. It was later listed on eBay.[17]

Partly due to uncertainty as to what species of tree should be replanted (a new pine or a tree native to New Zealand), the summit stands empty at the moment, except for the obelisk. A new nickname, "N(one) Tree Hill", soon became popular. Plans are ongoing to plant a grove of pohutukawa and totara trees at the summit, but concerns by local iwi over Treaty of Waitangi claims have so far prevented any actual planting,[18] though Council is growing a number of seedlings in the hopes of reinstating a grove as soon as the treaty claims are settled.[19] The Council has removed repeated illegal plantings, usually of pohutukawa, while waiting for the treaty claims to be settled.[20]

In popular culture

  • Irish rock band U2 wrote a song about the hill, "One Tree Hill", which appeared on their album The Joshua Tree. It was written to honour New Zealander Greg Carroll, an employee of the band who died in a motorcycle accident in Dublin on 3 July 1986.
  • Asteroid 23988 Maungakiekie was named after the hill by Ian P. Griffin, a British astronomer. The Asteroid was discovered at the Auckland Observatory which is located in the One Tree Hill Domain, a kilometre southwest of the peak.


  1. ^ One Tree Hill (from the Auckland volcanic field website of the Auckland Regional Council)
  2. ^ a b c d e "Vandals force One Tree Hill to be locked". The New Zealand Herald. NZPA. 8 October 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Cornwall Park website. Retrieved 8 November 2009
  4. ^ a b One Tree Hill Domain (Maungakiekie) (from the Auckland City Council website. Retrieved 2007-12-10.)
  5. ^ One Tree Hill - Use and value (from the Auckland volcanic field website of the Auckland Regional Council)
  6. ^ [1](One Tree Hill Domain Origin)
  7. ^ (Brochure "Sir John Logan Campbell" - Cornwall Park Information Center )
  8. ^ Cornwall Park (official website of the park)
  9. ^ "Park Formation". Cornwall Park. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  10. ^ "Cornwall Park Management Plan" (PDF). Auckland City Council. 1983. p. 23. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  11. ^ "Acacia Cottage". Register of Historic Places. New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  12. ^ "Coast to Coast walkway". Auckland City Council. 
  13. ^ One Tree Hill loses its tree - BBC News, Thursday 26 October 2000
  14. ^ The Evolution of Contemporary Maori Protest (from a Tino Rangatiratanga website)
  15. ^ "Attempt to attack One Tree Hill". Television New Zealand. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  16. ^ Trevett, Claire (19 January 2007). "One Tree Hill chainsaw goes on sale at $5000 plus". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  17. ^ McKenzie-Minifie, Martha (22 January 2007). "Chips flying as chainsaw seller tries to rev up interest on US auction site". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  18. ^ Orsman, Bernard (10 June 2006). "Fresh hope sprouts for One Tree Hill". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  19. ^ "One Tree Hill seedlings". CityScene. Auckland City Council. 25 July 2010. 
  20. ^ "One Tree Hill being regularly patrolled". The New Zealand Herald. 10 February 2005. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  • McLauchlan, Gordon (Ed) (1989). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of New Zealand. David Bateman Ltd. ISBN 1-86953-007-1. 
  • Volcanoes of Auckland: The Essential Guide. Hayward, B.W., Murdoch, G., Maitland, G.; Auckland University Press, 2011.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • One Tree Hill — may refer to: One Tree Hill (song), a song by rock band U2 referencing One Tree Hill, New Zealand One Tree Hill (TV series), an American television drama originally aired on the WB/CW network, named after the U2 song One Tree Hill College,… …   Wikipedia

  • One Tree Hill College — Location Physical: 421–451 Great South Road, Penrose, Auckland 1061, New Zealand Postal: PO Box 17471, Greenlane, Auckland 1546, New Zealand …   Wikipedia

  • One Tree Hill (Neuseeland) — One Tree Hill Höhe 183 m …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • One Tree Hill (season 2) — One Tree Hill: Season 2 One Tree Hill Season 2 DVD Cover Country of origin United States …   Wikipedia

  • One Tree Hill (TV series) — One Tree Hill Intertitle, seasons 1–4; 8 Genre Drama, Sports Format Teen drama …   Wikipedia

  • One Tree Hill (song) — One Tree Hill Single by U2 …   Wikipedia

  • List of One Tree Hill characters — The original five from the first season; Upper row (L R) Lucas, Peyton and Haley. Lower row (L R) Brooke and Nathan. One Tree Hill is an American television series created by Mark Schwahn for The WB in 2003. After its third season, The WB and UPN …   Wikipedia

  • New Zealand — (englisch) Aotearoa* (maorisch) Neuseeland …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • New Zealand, Derby — This article is about the suburb of Derby. For other uses, see New Zealand (disambiguation). Cobden Street in New Zealand The New Zealand Suburb/Area of Derby is situated about 1 mile from Derby City Centre. The suburb is surrounded by the… …   Wikipedia

  • List of New Zealand-related topics — New Zealand * History of New Zealand * Politics of New Zealand * Geography of New Zealand * Economy of New Zealand * Demographics of New Zealand * Culture of New Zealand * Māori * New Zealand English * New Zealand cinema * New Zealand literature… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.