From left: Watercare chief executive Raveen Jaduram, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Forestry Minister Shane Jones plant a pohutukawa.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Forestry Minister Shane Jones chose our Māngere Wastewater Treatment Plant as the location to celebrate this year’s Arbor Day.
The Mayor and Hon Shane Jones, together with Watercare chief executive Raveen Jaduram, planted three small pohutukawa trees on the site of the new $141 million Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) facility at Māngere Wastewater Treatment Plant.
We have carried out extensive planting in the area as part of the Māngere Coastal Restoration project in the early 2000s. With the recent BNR construction, more landscaping and planting of 100,000 native plants was done to complement the facility, which lies to the south of the existing Māngere treatment plant.
We are committed to afforestation, undertaking to plant more than one million trees at a 1900-acre former private forest in the Hūnua Ranges.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said after the current rotations of pine trees are harvested, the land will be progressively restored back to native forest by Watercare: “This will increase native fauna and flora in the region and provide more recreational opportunities for the public.
“Today’s planting contributes to my Million Trees Programme, an initiative that will green Auckland, offset our carbon emissions and protect water quality by planting one million predominantly native trees and shrubs across Auckland over three years.
“The response to the Million Trees Programme has been fantastic. The enthusiasm of Watercare, council, government, local boards, the private sector and schools saw more than 170,000 trees and plants planted last year and we are expecting to put over 500,000 trees and plants in the ground this year that will make Auckland a better place to live and enhance our living environment,” said Mayor Goff.
New Zealand has celebrated Arbor Day since 1977 on 5 June, which is also World Environment Day.
Hon Jones said: “I’m pleased to mark Arbor Day with the planting of three pohutukawa at Watercare, which has a significant planting programme.
“The One Billion Trees programme is well underway and over the coming months, I’ll be tasking as many councils and organisations as I can to undertake planting as part of the Matariki Tu Rākau programme, which aims to see up to 350,000 trees planted across the country in recognition of the men and women of our NZ Defence Force.”
Arbor Day originated in the United States but is celebrated by many countries around the world. People and organisations mark this day by gathering together to plant and care for trees.