Auckland, June 14, 2019
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff fulfilled his pledge this morning of planting a million trees in this term of the Auckland Council
The Mayor planted the millionth tree, a Puriri, at a public planting event at Totara Park in Manukau, along with more than 250 volunteers, mana whenua representatives and partners including the Department of Corrections and Te Uru Rākau – Forestry NZ.
Mr Goff made the pledge to plant a million mainly native trees and shrubs across the region during the 2016 election campaign.
Today’s planting also puts the Project on track to exceed it by around 100,000.
He planted the first tree in the Oakley Creek catchment in June 2017, with school children from Wesley Intermediate. He said their generation would benefit most from the success of the Project.
Mr Goff said that he is proud of the work done by people and organisations from across the city to deliver the Project.
He issued the following Statement:
Putting a million trees in the ground was always going to be an ambitious undertaking but Aucklanders stepped up to the challenge. I have been blown away by the level of support thrown behind this Project.
Thousands of people have come together to plant trees and make our city a better, greener place to live. It’s exemplified people power and the love Aucklanders have for their environment.
Together, we have made our City more beautiful, created carbon sinks to help reduce emissions, and reduced siltation into our harbours and waterways through riparian planting.
A green legacy
It is about leaving a green legacy for our kids and grandchildren, teaching them the value of environmental stewardship and empowering them to play a part in protecting and enhancing our environment.
In the light of Tuesday’s climate declaration, today’s achievement is a positive example of just one council action to address the climate emergency – but there is much more to do
This Project has been fantastic for Auckland. It has improved our environment and strengthened our communities by bringing people together around a shared goal.
I am especially proud of our partnership with the Department of Corrections which has seen offenders grow over 360,000 seedlings over the past three years, enabling them to contribute to the community, give back for the offence they have committed and learn and earn new skills and qualifications to help them reintegrate back into the community.