First of the 'one billion' planted

Totara the first tree.

Totara the first tree.

Forestry Minister Shane Jones (centre), with a totara tree he planted at Manutuke School, supported by students (from left) Wyllie and Sam Hiko, Puati Wylie, Customs Minister and Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri, school board of trustees chairwoman Cindy Willis and Mayor Meng Foon. Picture by Paul Rickard

A totara now proudly standing in the grounds of Manutuke School is officially the first of one billion trees the Government intends to plant over the next 10 years.

Shane Jones, the Regional Economic Development Minister and Forestry Minister planted the tree in a formal ceremony at the school yesterday, and said he had invited regional leaders to put in road funding applications to support the tree planting programme.

Associate Minister of Agriculture and Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri, Mayor Meng Foon, interim head of forestry at MPI Julie Collins, and Cindy Wills, the school’s board of trustees chairwoman, also planted native trees.

“I’m making good on my word to plant the first tree in Tairawhiti,” said Mr Jones.
“It’s the first place to see the sun, although that is not accepted by Hone Harawira and others.”

When he launched the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) in Gisborne in February, Mr Jones said he would plant the first tree in Gisborne.
“The five symbolic natives that we planted — kowhai, totara, kahikatea, puriri and matai — are just the start for Tairawhiti, which has huge afforestation potential.”

Mr Jones said the exotic tree industry would plant up to 60 million trees this year.

The Government would be responsible for at least 28 million while a substantial number would be planted on the East Coast.

“They will be natives and be part of the kaupapa to restore the land and to consolidate the land.

“If anyone had any doubts about the wisdom of that for the East Coast, they would only have to read the awful report published last week about the gargantuan level of soils washed into the ocean.”

“Gisborne has the worst eroding land in the country because of poor soil quality and the increasing frequency of adverse weather events.

“Twenty-six percent of the district’s land is susceptible to severe erosion, compared to 8 percent of land around the rest of the country.

Pine tree planting to increase next year

Mr Jones said the one billion trees programme would see some land in the region able to be retired or used to regenerate native bush and return land to a productive and sustainable state.

“I am acutely aware of how exotic trees planted up the East Coast have increased the pressure on us to adequately fund the roads.

“I said to the Tairawhiti leadership, John Rae (Activate Tairawhiti chairman) and Mr Foon, bring forward the proposals to the PGF so the roads can absorb some of the weight.”

Mr Jones said there was no shortage of people in the region who wanted to plant trees.

He was meeting with landowners at Te Araroa today while his officials had earlier held discussions with Whangara land owners.

Pine tree planting would ‘‘scale up’’ next year.

“But I find young people are more interested in planting manuka and natives,’’ said Mr Jones.

“I don’t want to stand in the way of the next generation.

‘‘We’re standing in a place called pipi whakao.’’

Mr Jones said the name symbolised the many people who lived in the area and their economic production in pre-European times.

A totara now proudly standing in the grounds of Manutuke School is officially the first of one billion trees the Government intends to plant over the next 10 years.

Shane Jones, the Regional Economic Development Minister and Forestry Minister planted the tree in a formal ceremony at the school yesterday, and said he had invited regional leaders to put in road funding applications to support the tree planting programme.

Associate Minister of Agriculture and Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri, Mayor Meng Foon, interim head of forestry at MPI Julie Collins, and Cindy Wills, the school’s board of trustees chairwoman, also planted native trees.

“I’m making good on my word to plant the first tree in Tairawhiti,” said Mr Jones.
“It’s the first place to see the sun, although that is not accepted by Hone Harawira and others.”

When he launched the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) in Gisborne in February, Mr Jones said he would plant the first tree in Gisborne.
“The five symbolic natives that we planted — kowhai, totara, kahikatea, puriri and matai — are just the start for Tairawhiti, which has huge afforestation potential.”

Mr Jones said the exotic tree industry would plant up to 60 million trees this year.

The Government would be responsible for at least 28 million while a substantial number would be planted on the East Coast.

“They will be natives and be part of the kaupapa to restore the land and to consolidate the land.

“If anyone had any doubts about the wisdom of that for the East Coast, they would only have to read the awful report published last week about the gargantuan level of soils washed into the ocean.”

“Gisborne has the worst eroding land in the country because of poor soil quality and the increasing frequency of adverse weather events.

“Twenty-six percent of the district’s land is susceptible to severe erosion, compared to 8 percent of land around the rest of the country.

Pine tree planting to increase next year

Mr Jones said the one billion trees programme would see some land in the region able to be retired or used to regenerate native bush and return land to a productive and sustainable state.

“I am acutely aware of how exotic trees planted up the East Coast have increased the pressure on us to adequately fund the roads.

“I said to the Tairawhiti leadership, John Rae (Activate Tairawhiti chairman) and Mr Foon, bring forward the proposals to the PGF so the roads can absorb some of the weight.”

Mr Jones said there was no shortage of people in the region who wanted to plant trees.

He was meeting with landowners at Te Araroa today while his officials had earlier held discussions with Whangara land owners.

Pine tree planting would ‘‘scale up’’ next year.

“But I find young people are more interested in planting manuka and natives,’’ said Mr Jones.

“I don’t want to stand in the way of the next generation.

‘‘We’re standing in a place called pipi whakao.’’

Mr Jones said the name symbolised the many people who lived in the area and their economic production in pre-European times.

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