“Manawanui” is the Maori word for perseverance and when you read the story about this little tree you will understand why.
The tree started life as a fence post at least 77 years ago. Wanaka artist and writer Gwenda Rowlands, 85, is a keeper of local history and remembers the fence line from 1939, when she first visited it in a little dinghy her father built for her and her older brother.
She has watched it evolve from a “hacked off branch from nearby willows” to a symbol of determination.”It was 1939 I remember it growing there and that is not yesterday. So it has been growing slowly all that time . . . It was just big enough to lift the wire up with a bit of tension on it. I can remember a gap where the tree is now, on the beach, and the sheep could just wander off into the town shopping if they wanted.”
Rowlands agrees the tree “seems to be getting a bit of an overload” but has not let that overwhelm her enjoyment of the site’s natural history.