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One million new trees planted

More than 1 million trees have been planted across the region by Greater Wellington Regional Council [GWRC] in the past two years, with 775,000 of those in Wairarapa.

GWRC said one tree was planted every four seconds across the region this year, more than double what had been planted in 2021.

Numbers released by GWRC’s land management team showed that 415,000 native plants were put in Wairarapa soil this winter, along with 50,000 exotic plants.

Last year, the land management team placed 330,000 native plants in the ground and 20,000 exotics.

GWRC said an extra 40,000 plants were planted at Wairarapa Moana this winter.

Additionally, it said that it had provided seedlings to Masterton’s Akura Nursery which produced 415,000 native plants and 50,000 exotics for the region.

GWRC said the main use for the plants would be erosion protection and riparian planting to reduce sediment entering waterways.

“With our Wairarapa Moana Wetlands Project partners, we planted 40,000 natives around Wairarapa Moana during the 2022 winter planting season, four times as many as in 2021, where we planted 10,000 natives.”

It said 52,874 riparian plants were put in the ground in Wairarapa this year.

In 2022, the total number of trees planted across the region more than doubled to 850,000, of which 62 per cent were native.

Greater Wellington’s general manager of catchment management Wayne O’Donnell said the numbers told a story of resilience, hard work and effective partnerships.

He said the planting had been crucial for environmental efforts across the region.

“Not only do these plants make the places we live and play in look more beautiful, but they also help increase biodiversity, prevent soil erosion, and remove greenhouse gases and improve water quality.”

O’Donnell said the planting was undertaken and funded through various means, with help from farmers, the community, and mana whenua.

He said at the root of the planting success was considerable support from our mana whenua partners, community groups and members of the public alike across the region.

“This outpouring of support has hugely contributed to the milestone of 1.25 million plants, and we want to say a huge thank you to all those involved over both planting seasons”.

O’Donnell said those examples of resilience, hard work, and a newly formed partnership were on display at a recent planting day in Lower Hutt’s East Harbour Regional Park, in large part thanks to the Government’s Mahi mo te Taiao Jobs for Nature programme.

Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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