Trees are vital. They release oxygen, absorb carbon, encourage biodiversity and help to repair waterways. The New Zealand Government has a bold plan to plant 1 billion trees by 2028.
“Toitū te ngahere, toitū te whenua, toitū te tangata. — If we look after the forest, if we look after the land, the land will look after us.”
The One Billion Trees Programme aims to increase tree planting across New Zealand. It makes it easier to plant the right tree, in the right place, for the right purpose. At the end of 2020 The One Billion Trees Programme had planted 258,686,000 trees across New Zealand.
Good for the environment, and the people.
Trees are good for our natural environment - they absorb carbon from the atmosphere, encourage biodiversity, help restore waterways, and reduce soil and rainwater run-off. So, the more the merrier. They’re good for the economy too! The One Billion Trees (1BT) programme is also working to help recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19 by supporting Jobs for Nature – an initiative to help create employment opportunities in the environmental and conservation sectors. The New Zealand Government is achieving this through targeted investment in large-scale planting and catchment initiatives, as well as forestry sector partnerships that create jobs, support economic recovery, and deliver environmental benefits.
It’s estimated that commercial foresters will plant 500 million trees while $240m has been set aside to co-fund planting with landowners, organisations, and community groups to plant the rest. Here are two funded initiatives that are underway right now.
Trees That Count.
They’re the match-maker for tree lovers. Trees That Count is a digital community that connects the givers to the growers. This Kiwi charity has made it easier for Kiwi companies to fund the planting of native trees, and for community groups around the country to get stuck in and plant them.
Trees That Count matches the people who want to fund trees, to the people who want to plant trees. Pretty simple, really. Since 2016 they’ve been busy, with a total tree count of 659,295 as at March 2021.
And many more trees will be funded through this innovative platform. It’s made it easier for individuals and businesses to do their bit to make a healthier, greener, and more beautiful New Zealand. The charity’s mission now is to ramp up their efforts and see 200 million new native trees planted over the next 10 years.
Unifying nature, Māori, and science - the Minginui Nursery was formed out of the unique relationship between the forest, Ngāti Whare and the Crown research institute Scion. The idea to establish a native tree nursery was developed as a result of the need to regenerate 640 hectares of pine plantation back to native trees once the pine had been harvested. Yep, they’ll be creating a new native forest.
Minginui Nursery is a purely native tree nursery specialising in revegetation plants, and they’re growing – fast! With the capacity to grow over 1,000,000 native plants per year the Minginui Nursery is dedicated to utilising rapid propagation technology. And with the unique bond and understanding of the forest Ngāti Whare are building a new sustainable indigenous forestry industry in New Zealand. They’re also providing employment for locals within Minginui, with the nursery providing Ngāti Whare with a real opportunity to lift economic development within the region.
The nursery supplies native plants across the country for riparian planting, returning disused land to native, or simply planting in the household garden. Wherever their plants go, they’re all contributing the target of One Billion Trees.
Looking for somewhere that’s growing for the future? We know a place.