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..

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..


Botanical name:  Rhopalostylis sapida
Maori name:  Nikau
Common name:  Nikau Palm
Height:  10 metres

Nikau is the only native palm in NZ and is the southern most palm in the world. 

It is abundant in lowland forests in the North Island and appears as far south as Banks Peninsula. It is also present on the Chatham Islands. 

Nikau fronds are up to 3m long and consist of numerous narrow pointed leaflets up to 1m long.

The small pink flowers are unisexual, with both sexes bunched into a dense panicle called a spadix, which appears at the base of the fronds. Flowering occurs during summer. The red berries, formed from female flowers, take about a year to ripen.

Maori used the palm fronds for thatching dwellings and the leaflets as a lashing material. The growing tip of the plant is edible but its removal always leads to the plant’s demise.

Rhopalostylis is an endemic genus with 2 species. R. baueri is found on the Kermadec islands plus a small population on Norfolk Island. Work is still being done on the genus as the differences between the two species are minimal.

The easiest place to see nikau on Tiritiri is on the Wattle Track, at the low-lying damp area between the hihi feeder and the first water trough (when coming from the wharf). 


Photography by: Warren Brewer © (top right - nikau on the Wattle Track, and right - three stages of spadix development: flowers emerging, new flowers and fruit developing) and Kay Milton © (above - nikau flowers).