#1 Kerikeri Pear Tree



Kerikeri, Northland

Nominated by:

Heritage New Zealand

Photo Credit:

Heritage New Zealand

NZ Tree Register Number:


The New Zealand Tree Register (NZTR) holds detailed information on notable trees in New Zealand.

Oldest surviving exotic tree in Aoteoroa New Zealand.

This pear tree is thought to be a Williams bon chrétien (good Christian) pear and is the sole survivor of 185 fruit trees and grape vines which are the first recorded exotic trees planted in New Zealand. It is therefore the oldest surviving exotic tree in New Zealand and is over 200 years old.

When Hongi Hika granted European missionaries some land on the site of the Kororipo pā near Kerikeri back in the early 1800s, the first thing they did was plant food crops and orchards, including the pear tree.

It was planted by the Rev. John Butler under the direction of Rev. Samuel Marsden at the Anglican Mission Station in Kerikeri, Bay of Islands, in 1819. It is probable that the tree came from Marsden's Paramatta Estate in Australia. Many of the fruit trees that made up his Paramatta orchard were directly sourced by Joseph Banks in 1803.

The Kerikeri mission's model orchard and gardens played an integral role in establishing a propagation resource for further stock dispersal throughout the country and was viewed by Marsden as a metaphor for promoting the missionary endeavours to all who would listen and help dig.

The tree is on land owned by Far North District Council and is a notable tree within the Operative District Plan and within the draft District Plan. It can be viewed at Kerikeri Basin.

The history of the tree was discussed in a Radio New Zealand interview on 8 January 2019.




  1. Burstall S.W & Sale E.V, Great Trees of New Zealand. 1984 pg. 34.

  2. The New Zealand Tree Register https://register.notabletrees.org.nz/tree/view/668

  3. https://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/banks/section-07/series-37/37-08-letter-received-by-banks-from-arthur

  4. https://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/banks/section-07/series-39/39-57-draft-instructions-to-governor-king-you

  5. https://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/banks/section-07/series-43/43-07-letter-received-by-banks-from-samuel