Honda TreeFund planting day drives park revegetation

Cars and trees don’t normally go together but this week Honda New Zealand staff and their customers put their green thumbs to good use by planting around 600 native trees at Whakanewha Regional Park on Waiheke Island.
The planting has been made possible through financial contributions from the Honda TreeFund, which has seen 3350 trees planted in the park over the last six years.   
The Honda TreeFund project funds the planting of 13 native trees for every new car sold by the company. The trees are planted locally in the customers’ purchase region by the local council, Honda staff and their customers. Nationally more than 450,000 trees have been funded.
Four hundred of the trees planted yesterday (Thursday) have been ecosourced from the Whakanewha nursery.  The remainder are locally sourced from Waiheke native plants on the island.
Volunteers also cleared around established trees that have been planted in recent years. This improves the trees’ health and allows further growth.
“The funding by the Honda TreeFund over many years has been valuable in helping enhance the revegetation on Whakanewha Regional Park and many other sites across the region,” says Janis McArdle, Manager Environmental Services, Auckland Council.
Since 2005, Honda’s investment in Auckland Council’s Environmental Initiatives Fund has helped the Auckland community to restore the biodiversity to their local areas.   
The Honda TreeFund’s participation has already supported the funding of 136,400 native plants through community projects across the Auckland region and an additional 11,883 will be planted by community groups during 2011.
Some of the achievements supported by the Honda TreeFund’s contribution to the Environmental Initiatives funding round in 2010 are:

  • 2000 native plants for the CUE Haven Restoration Project in Rodney, to revegetate a former dairy farm, restore wetlands and increase connections between the forest remnants
  • 1600 native plants for the Matakana Native Planting in Rodney which have revegetated around a slip, helping to prevent erosion and providing a habitat for native flora and fauna
  • 900 native plants for Papatoetoe High School for riparian planting along Papatoetoe Stream, to improve water quality and restore stream habitat and ecological functions
  • 1000 native plants for the Rakino Island Reforestation Project to restore former farm land, and improve biodiversity and bird habitat on Rakino Island.

Honda New Zealand’s Managing Director Graeme Seymour explains: “Our commitment to the environment runs to the very heart of Honda’s culture and philosophy.  The Honda TreeFund is our way of getting together with local communities to help them improve the biodiversity, coastal land protection and other environmental concerns in their area. 
“Honda staff and our customers have a great time at the tree planting days.  There’s a tremendous amount of satisfaction to be had at the end of the day when you look at hundreds of native trees you helped to plant over the years,” he says.  

“It’s a great feeling to make a positive difference to the environment for future generations to enjoy by getting out of the office and getting your hands dirty.”