One Tree Hill

Chris Gin

Auckland, New Zealand

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Artist's Description

One Tree Hill is a 182 metre volcanic peak located in Auckland, New Zealand. It is an important memorial place for both Maori and other New Zealanders. The suburb around the base of the hill is also called One Tree Hill. When Auckland was founded as a colonial town a totara tree stood near the summit which gave the hill its name.

The tree was cut down by a white settler in 1852, in an act of vandalism in one account, or for firewood in another. A radiata pine was planted in the 1870s to replace the previous totara.

Until 2000, the lone pine tree stood next to the obelisk. However, this remaining tree was later attacked twice with chainsaws by Maori protesters. The first attack happened on 28 October 1994, the anniversary of the 1835 Declaration of Independence. A second attack on the 5th of October 2000 left the tree unable to recover and so it was removed due to the risk of it dying and falling down.

The summit stands empty at the moment, except for the obelisk. A new nickname, “No(ne) Tree Hill”, soon became popular.

Irish rock band U2 wrote a song about the hill in their song “One Tree Hill”, which appeared on their album The Joshua Tree. It was written to honour New Zealander Greg Carroll, an employee of the band who died in a motorcycle accident in Dublin on July 3, 1986.

Artwork Comments

  • Robyn Carter
  • Luke and Katie Thurlby
  • Peter Denniston
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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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