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4,000 more trees for Northland farm

The Prime Holdings Farm is located at Tipene Road, Motatau in Kawakawa, approximately 50km northwest of Whangarei. It is a property run and managed by the Prime family, headed by well-known Northland kaumatua and conservationist, Kevin Prime.

There are several roles, honours and awards the Ngati Hine man has achieved in his lifetime. He is one of the founding members of Nga Whenua Rahui, established in 1990, to protect Maori land through the use of conservation covenants.

He has also been a commissioner of the Environment Court since 2003, ex-chairman and current kaumatua for Foundation North, formerly the ASB Community Trust, and he has been chairman of the Te Kahui Maori Advisory Bio-Heritage National Science Challenge.

He says his environmental passion stems from values instilled by his parents and grandparents.

In 2017, Trees That Count funded the planting of 4060 native tree and shrub species on the Prime Holdings Farm.  The organisation also provided technical support in species selection, planting and maintenance plans and assistance with monitoring early performance.Prime whanau, farm staff and local youth all helped with the planting.

The farm was selected as an ideal Trees That Count site for planting permanent native forest on Northland hill country. The family planted at least six separate areas across their farm in 2017, totalling 25,600 manuka and over 400 native tree species, focusing on the lower slopes and riparian zones which are being retired into permanent native forest cover.  The manuka is being planted as part of their honey business to provide an intermediate income over the first couple of decades. As the manuka develops it will provide shelter for planted and naturally regenerating, successional native tree species.

Two sites were selected for the Trees That Count planting; a north facing two hectare area for planting a manuka nurse cover, and an area for inter-planting selected native tree species, including rewarewa, miro, kauri, matai, tanekaha, rimu and kohekohe, within a recently planted manuka area.

The 2017 planting programme saw the continuation of the extensive manuka planting undertaken by the Prime family during the previous two years.