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Welcome Forest helps lay down roots for migrants and newcomers in the Wakatipu Basin

Led by Trees That Count, the new ‘Welcome Forest’ will be located at Queenstown’s Jardine Park. Attendees will plant the first 1000 native trees as a way to honour newcomers and migrant families in the Wakatipu Basin.

Senior Human Rights Advisor Andre Afamasaga (New Zealand Human Rights Commission), will join Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) Mayor Jim Boult and local migrant families for the ceremonial tree planting event on Saturday 10 October.

Mayor Boult says establishing the new native forest comes at a fitting time for migrant communities.

“We want them to know they’re a valued part of our community and that this is their whenua, and we hope this Welcome Forest will help deepen their connection to the Wakatipu Basin for generations to come.”

Mr Boult said the Jardine Park site offers some of the region’s most stunning views, with clear sightlines to the Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu.

“As the new forest grows, we’ve made sure the views will still be accessible through walkways and well-positioned viewing points. We want this to be a place where all of our community feels welcome to come with friends and family, to relax and take in the beauty of our region.”

Operating as kaitaiki (caretakers) for the new trees is Wakatipu Reforestation Trust, a volunteer group already making huge inroads to restoring biodiversity and wildlife corridors in the region by planting a staggering 40,000 native trees with the support of Trees That Count. 

The first 1000 native trees for the Welcome Forest have been generously funded through the Trees That Count marketplace by funder Z Energy, who was also a recent sponsor of the Give No Voice to Racism campaign.

The Queenstown Forest is one of four Welcome Forests spearheaded by Trees That Count, with another three located in Canterbury, Auckland and Wellington.

Families new to Queenstown can register to attend the Welcome Forest planting here: 

Please register by Wednesday 30th September 2020 to let us know you are going to join us. Please note that so social distancing can be observed numbers are limited to 100. This event will take place under Level 1 or Level 2 COVID restrictions.