Northland iwi kicks off Billion Trees planting

The first deal has been done under the New Zealand Government’s Billion Trees programme.Northland iwi Ngati Hine will be planting 2.5 million pine trees and 465 hectares of manuka, sequestering about 2.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. Associate Forestry Minister Meka Whaitiri has welcomed the joint venture between Ngati Hine Forestry Trust and Te Uru Rakau (Forestry New Zealand). The joint venture includes planting 3,600 hectares of pine and almost 500 hectares of manuka.

“The training programme that will run alongside the planting of Manuka seedlings in 2019 and 2020 is a significant opportunity for Ngati Hine rangatahi to gain qualifications in the forestry sector,” Meka Whaitiri said. “We expect 20 trainees involved in the Manuka planting in 2019, and another 20 in 2020, to gain level 2 qualifications in a re-invigorated New Zealand forestry sector. There will also be significant apiculture business opportunities from this commercial Manuka plantation to contribute to the employment opportunities in the heart of Ngati Hine country. It demonstrates how you can diversify Maori land to build long term resilience.”

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