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Tāne Mahuta

Coordinates: 35°36′04″S 173°31′38″E / 35.60111°S 173.52722°E / -35.60111; 173.52722
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Tāne Mahuta
Tāne Mahuta, the biggest kauri tree alive, in the Waipoua Forest of Northland Region, New Zealand
Tāne Mahuta is located in New Zealand
Tāne Mahuta
Tāne Mahuta
SpeciesKauri (Agathis australis)
Coordinates35°36′04″S 173°31′38″E / 35.60111°S 173.52722°E / -35.60111; 173.52722
Height45.2 m (148 ft)
Girth15.44 m (50.7 ft)
Volume of trunk255.5 m3 (9,020 cu ft)
Date seeded500 BC – 750 AD

Tāne Mahuta, also called "God of the Forest", is a giant kauri tree (Agathis australis) in the Waipoua Forest of Northland Region, New Zealand. Its age is unknown but is estimated to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years. It is the largest living kauri tree known to stand today.[1] It is named after Tāne, the Māori god of forests and of birds.[2]

The tree is a remnant of the ancient subtropical rainforest that once grew on the Northland Peninsula. Other giant kauri are found nearby, notably Te Matua Ngahere. Tāne Mahuta is the most famous tree in New Zealand, along with Te Matua Ngahere. It was discovered and identified in early January 1924[3] when contractors surveyed the present State Highway 12 route through the forest. In 1928, Nicholas Yakas and other bushmen, who were building the road, also identified the tree.

In April 2009, Tāne Mahuta was formally partnered with the tree Jōmon Sugi on Yakushima Island, Japan.[4] During the New Zealand drought of 2013, 10,000 litres of water from a nearby stream was diverted to Tāne Mahuta, which was showing signs of dehydration.[5]

In 2018, the tree was considered threatened by kauri dieback, a generally fatal disease caused by a fungus which has already infected many nearby kauri trees.[6] New Zealand's Department of Conservation initiated a plan to protect and save the tree from kauri dieback.[7]


Tree girth 15.44 m (50.7 ft)
Trunk height 17.8 m (58 ft)
Tree height 45.2 m (148 ft)
Trunk volume 255.5 m3 (9,020 cu ft)
Tree volume 516.7 m3 (18,250 cu ft)[1][8]

The measurements above were taken in 2002 by Dr. Robert Van Pelt, a forest ecology researcher and affiliate assistant professor at the University of Washington. Former measurements taken in 1971 by the New Zealand Forestry Service may be found on The New Zealand Tree Register.[9]


In 2012, Lady Davina Lewis, daughter of Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester and Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester, and her husband, the New Zealander Gary Lewis, named their son Tane Mahuta, after the tree.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Tane Mahuta Walk". Department of Conservation. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  2. ^ According to the Māori creation myth, Tāne is the son of Ranginui the sky father and Papatūanuku the earth mother. Tāne separates his parents from their marital embrace until his father the sky is high above mother earth. Tāne then sets about clothing his mother with vegetation. The birds and the trees of the forest are regarded as Tāne’s children.
  3. ^ "Great Kauri Forest – Waipoua State Reserve". No. New Zealand Herald. 14 January 1924. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Iconic trees in world-first partnership". Fairfax New Zealand. 24 April 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2009.
  5. ^ "Tane Mahuta earns a drink". 3 News NZ. 12 April 2013.
  6. ^ Ainge Roy, Eleanor (14 July 2018). "'Like losing family': time may be running out for New Zealand's most sacred tree". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  7. ^ Williams, Lois (24 August 2018). "DOC and scientists hatch plan to tackle kauri dieback in Northland". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Agathis australis". The Gymnosperm Database. Archived from the original on 10 June 2008. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
  9. ^ "Tree Information". The New Zealand Tree Register. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  10. ^ "Kiwi royal named for king of forest". The New Zealand Herald. 9 September 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2022.