Easily the most famous Cabbage Trees in Christchurch! Called Te Herenga Ora by the Ngai Tahu, Burnside High School have recognised the importance of this cluster of Cabbage Trees so much that they are the school’s icon!
Before the Europeans made it to Canterbury, the Maori would used this site as a landmark, usually on their way to the Ngai Tahu pa in Kaiapoi. It was also a resting place and where sacred rites were performed for those Maori travellers to go on in safety. These trees were considered tapu!
After 1850, Europeans also used the trees as a landmark, helping them with their directions on the vast swampland that was the Canterbury Plains. Luckily, William Boag who had brought the land and farmed it, respected the history of the site and they were perserved.
In 1959, the land was sold and Burnside High began to be built. The school adopted the trees as their icon and their motto is the following:- ‘Reate sic dirige cursum – along this path direct your journey correctly’.
How fitting 🙂