Mayor launches Million Trees initiative

Publish Date : 06 Jun 2017

Mayor Phil Goff has launched 'Million Trees', a programme to green Auckland by planting 1 million predominantly native trees and shrubs across Auckland over three years.

At a launch event hosted by Wesley Intermediate, the mayor joined local children to plant trees and shrubs in the Oakley Creek catchment and reveal Million Trees partnerships with the Department of Corrections and Trees that Count Trust that will help put 170,000 plants in the ground in the programme’s first year.

The launch also included the opening of Te Whangai Trust nursery, which will donate trees and plants to the mayoral programme.

First plantings in 2017

The first tranche of plantings for 2017 involves 30,000 trees each for the North West Wild Link and Puhinui projects, 25,000 trees and shrubs for Atiu Creek in Rodney and 15,000 plants each for the Whau River project and Project Twin Streams in Titirangi.

Million Trees formed a key part of Phil Goff’s mayoral campaign. It seeks to make Auckland a greener, more beautiful place while providing carbon sinks to offset greenhouse gases. It will also help prevent siltation of Auckland’s harbours and waterways by planting along streams and coastal areas. 

“Million Trees is an ambitious programme to green our city, offset our carbon emissions, protect our water quality and improve our living environment,” says the mayor.

“The response to Million Trees has been fantastic. The enthusiasm and energy of the council, local boards, the private sector and schools has been overwhelming. We are partnering with Department of Corrections; Trees that Count; and nurseries, communities and other organisations to green our city and deliver a natural asset to Aucklanders for generations to come."

“The Million Trees project is about involving all of our community in making Auckland a better place to live and enhancing our living environment.”

We've all got a chance to be involved 

Sir Stephen Tindall, co-founder of The Tindall Foundation, which funds Trees That Count, encourages Aucklanders to get involved.

“We see our valued partnership with the council as a way not only of getting a million additional trees and shrubs into the ground, but also as a springboard to encourage the participation of all Aucklanders in planting more native trees in their neighbourhood, on their farm, at school or outside their office," he says.

“Planting native trees is one of the best things we can all do for the local environment and for the planet. It is also a great way to bring people together and connect them with their local community.”

Partnering to green Auckland

The partnership with the Department of Corrections will deliver nursery space for thousands of trees and shrubs. The department will also provide labour to assist with site preparation, planting and maintenance through their prisons and community offender services in Auckland. 

Trees that Count will assist with planting trees and undertake a robust and independent running count of the trees delivered within the programme.  

“The partnership with the Department of Corrections is crucial," says Phil Goff. "It gives us the scale required to meet the Million Trees target, and having Trees that Count on board will ensure we are accurately reporting what we deliver."

The mayor was joined by representatives from the Department of Corrections, Trees that Count, Te Whangai Trust, Wesley Intermediate and the local community to plant the first trees in the Oakley Creek catchment.

Wesley Intermediate also commemorated the occasion with a mural designed by its pupils depicting the Million Trees programme and other local environmental community initiatives. The mural can be seen at Mt Roskill War Memorial Park.

About Trees that Count

Trees That Count is a conservation programme developed to protect the environment and address climate change by planting millions of native trees.

It is funded by The Tindall Foundation and delivered by Project Crimson Trust, Pure Advantage and the Department of Conservation.

Trees That Count provides information, inspiration and connections to encourage every Kiwi to take action, and measures nationwide efforts to build a clear picture of progress towards our climate goals.

More information about Trees that Count

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