One Billion Trees creating wide benefits

  • Hon Shane Jones

The Government’s One Billion Trees programme is realising economic, environmental and social benefits across regional New Zealand through its forestry joint venture agreements, just a year after it was launched, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today.

A total of 21 joint ventures have been signed between Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) – the lead agency of the Programme - and landowners across the country.

The latest joint ventures to be signed are with Te Uri o Hau which will see 2843 hectares of plantation forestry planted on the Pouto Peninsula in Kaipara; and Tapuwae Inc covering up to 800 hectares in the Tapuwae Forest in Hokianga.

“Te Uri o Hau is the second largest planting initiative for the One Billion Trees Programme to date,” Forestry Minister Shane Jones said.

“This brings the total planting area across joint ventures to 13,000 hectares – over halfway to our total of 24,000 hectares.

“These agreements are seeing planting and silviculture jobs created that weren’t there before, they’re offering landowners, including Māori, the ability to diversify income and improve land productivity, and they’re creating real environmental and social benefits too.

“We are seeing a huge amount of goodwill and interest with over 260 enquiries from a wide range of landowners and a further 35 properties totalling 10,000ha currently under negotiation.

“Along with these joint ventures, the new One Billion Trees Fund launched in November is offering simple and direct grants to landowners who are looking to integrate trees into their landscapes with over 700 enquiries to the Fund.

“The wider One Billion Trees goal to plant at least one billion trees by 2028 is an ambitious one, but is a commitment from the Government to drive regional revitalisation and deliver benefits to our people and our environment. It also supports Māori to realise the potential of their land,” Shane Jones said.