The Kahikatea Award is special to Waerenga School. It is a symbol of success by a child in growth or overcoming obstacles in the areas of reliability, resilience or resourcefulness. It is awarded at the end of each term to one child per classroom.

The kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides) is New Zealand’s tallest forest tree. It once dominated the forests that covered much of New Zealand’s swampy lowland areas, particularly in the Waerenga area. Between Waerenga Road and Goodin road grows one of the last native standing kahikatea forests.

Far from a solitary tree, the kahikatea groups closely with other kahikatea, intertwining its buttressed roots with its neighbours for support in the unstable swampy ground. It is perhaps for this reason that the kahikatea has evolved with such a tall, straight trunk with no lower branches, to enable it to “huddle” with others for stability.