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..

2017 Photo Competition

Date posted: 22-Mar-2017

It is that time of year again when we are looking for entries for our photo competition (and phot..

The 2017 concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2017

This year's concert promises to be another wonderful and unique experience. Click here (/concert-..

Shorebird Film Festival at Devonport

Date posted: 26-Oct-2016

Click here (/miscellaneous documents/DevWaderFilms.jpg) for details of a forthcoming film festival c..

Extra Dawn Chorus Trip

Date posted: 20-Oct-2016

Stop Press: Extra Dawn Chorus trip now scheduled for Thursday 27th October 2016. ..

2016 AGM

Date posted: 06-Sep-2016

The 2016 AGM was held at the Kohia Centre at 7:30 pm on Monday 19th September. Click here (/..


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).