This time next week one of Auckland's most recognisable volcanic cones will have a tree - in fact nine - returned to its peak.
Three young tōtara and six young pōhutukawa will be planted at the top of Māungakiekie / One Tree Hill, next Saturday - 16 years after the original Monterey pine was felled.
It was removed after being weakened by two chainsaw attacks - one in 1994 bye Māori activist Mike Smith and the second in 1999.
Over the years, and with the help of arborists, it is hoped one of the stronger of the nine trees will emerge and there will eventually be a tree of either species standing above the others.
Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority chairman Paul Majurey said the re-planting had been a long time coming.
"It is a huge occasion for Auckland ... this is an event that recognises the importance that the symbol and the icon of the tree has been for the people of Auckland."
Mr Majurey said the process has been unifying as many communities had worked towards re-establishing a tree.
The trees will be planted at a dawn ceremony, open to the public, next weekend.