Communities plant first trees for Matariki Tu Rākau

Press Release – New Zealand Government

Hon Meka Whaitiri

Associate Minister of Forestry

15 June 2018

Associate Forestry Minister Meka Whaitiri will be planting trees at Matariki ceremonies in Auckland and Wellington today, launching Matariki Tu Rākau – the government’s community-focused commemorative tree planting initiative under the One Billion Trees Programme.

Matariki Tu Rākau starts with the first plantings on Friday morning in Auckland with Mayor Goff and in Wellington in the afternoon Mayor Lester, as part of the Matariki celebrations. Funding is available for trees (preferably native) for permanent plantings on publicly accessible and reserve land.

“Matariki Tu Rākau is a special project within the One Billion Trees Programme and as part of our national 100-year remembrance of the First World War,” Meka Whaitiri said.

“I congratulate councils around the country for their enthusiasm to engage their communities in planting preferably native trees. Ahead of a dozen more events planned across the country, Friday’s celebrations will see 400 native trees planted at Totara Park in Auckland, and 40 Totara will be planted in the Wellington Town Belt near Newtown Park in Wellington.

“It’s a chance for communities to participate in the One Billion Trees Programme and create living salutes to our past and present service men and women of Aotearoa. It’s a privilege to be supporting local community-led celebrations around the country that will leave a living legacy for future generations to connect with,” Meka Whaitiri said.

“These plantings will create places that descendants of our past service personnel, whanau of those serving today, and visitors to our regions, will be able to come and reflect and appreciate the work and sacrifices our defence forces,” Meka Whaitiri said.


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