2018 Concert coming up soon

Date posted: 15-Feb-2018

Our 2018 concert will feature an afternoon of light classics and jazz courtesy of the Auckland Ph..

Wetapunga talk coming soon

Date posted: 05-Feb-2018

For the Social on 19 March the speaker will be Ben Goodwin of Auckland Zoo, who will talk about t..

Rat caught and now takahe released from pens

Date posted: 28-Jan-2018

Thankfully DOC staff Andre de Graaf and Polly Hall and their assistants have trapped the rat whic..

Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..

2018 Photo Comp opens for entries

Date posted: 27-Nov-2017

The 2018 Photo Competition is now open for entries. Click here (/2018-photo-competition-tiritiri-mat..

New reports on ruru nesting and Island conservation

Date posted: 02-Oct-2017

Two new reports have been added to the website. The first gives details of a summer students..

2018 calendars now available

Date posted: 27-Sep-2017

Our latest calendar, beautifully illustrated with images taken on the Island, is now available fo..

Guided walks for photographers

Date posted: 21-Jun-2017

For a wonderful day of wildlife photography please join us on Tiritiri Matangi Island for a Ph..

Ferry discounts for Supporters

Date posted: 18-May-2017

Tiritiri Matangi Island, the perfect winter's day trip. The birds are at their best, warm up w..

More kiwi for the Island

Date posted: 04-Apr-2017

In 1993 and 1995, sixteen little spotted kiwi were released on Tiritiri Matangi Island. The ma..


Botanical name:  Macropiper excelsum
Maori name:  Kawakawa
Common name:  Pepper Tree
Height:  6 metres

KawakawaA small, densely branched, aromatic tree with large heart shaped fleshy leaves. The trees are dioecious (separate male and female) their flowers lack petals and are arranged in spikes.  Ripe fruit on female plants is clustered on the central spike and looks like an orange candle.

had many medicinal uses for kawakawa.  An infusion of the leaves was used for bladder problems, boils, relief of pain or as a general tonic.  The leaves were chewed to relieve toothache and leaves and fruit were used as poultices for bruises or to make a smudge to keep insects away (burnt on a fire to make a thick acrid smoke). 

Nowadays dried kawakawa leaves are sold in specialty shops for making a herbal tea.

Genus Macropiper contains about 11 species in Polynesia, New Guinea and New Zealand.  They belong in the pepper family, Piperaceae.

Photography by Peter Craw © (male flowers, above right) and Warren Brewer © (ripe female fruit, below left).