A significant ti kouka (cabbage tree) on the banks of the Ōtākaro/Avon within the Englefield Lodge estate was used as a fishing marker by local Māori in the 19th century. The tree was removed in 1922 then formally replaced in 1994. The replacement can be seen on Avonside Drive, just east of Fitzgerald Avenue. The adjoining plaque reads “He tohu whakamaumahara o matau tipuna”, which can be translated as “Remember the ancestors”.
This memorial commemorates the Kāi Tahu allocation of fishing sites in the area. The swamplands that were so highly prized by Māori were not regarded favourably by European colonists who diverted waters from the traditional māhinga kai to make way for cultivation and urban development.
“The Pakeha moved swamp to drains
and very little now remains.”