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Planting native trees for the Jubilee

A unique celebration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee launches on Monday May 16 at Wellington’s Government House.

Trees That Count has partnered with the Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai (DOC) to support the planting of 100,000 native trees across Aotearoa in honour of the Jubilee.

“We’re very grateful to both the Governor-General and the Office of the Prime Minister for their support of this initiative,” says Robyn Haugh, CEO of Trees That Count. 

Kicking off with a ceremonial kauri planting with Rt Hon Helen Winkelmann (GNZM) and Minister Kiritapu Allan on Monday 16 May, the planting programme will run over the entire winter/spring season. 

15 exceptional native restoration projects nationwide will enhance their existing work by planting and caring for the many thousands of native trees.

“These are incredible projects ranging from iconic mountain landscapes like Coronet Peak, to riparian farmland in Taranaki, to public parks in Ōtautahi/Christchurch and Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland,” Robyn explains. 

Planting native trees results in extensive benefits for all New Zealanders: for ecosystems, biodiversity, waterways, carbon sequestration, communities and tamariki. 

“We are thrilled that the Government has chosen to celebrate this occasion in a way that benefits all New Zealanders.” 

The planting programme echoes the Queen’s Green Canopy scheme developed in the United Kingdom for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, but specifies that New Zealand’s native species will be eco-sourced and planted.

Around 30,000 of the native trees will be planted and cared for by Trees That Count partner organisation Te Tapu o Tāne in the Murihiku/Southland region. 

“We’re not only growing the mauri (life) of our whenua (land) and awa (water) through this restoration work—we’re growing our people too,” says Jana Davis, Te Tapu o Tāne CEO. 

One of their planting sites at Motupōhue/Bluff has already seen job creation and expansion through DOC’s Jobs for Nature programme, and the native trees received as part of the Jubilee funding will give the scheme an added boost.

“We have all the energy and motivation we need for this programme,” says Jana. “But funding through schemes like this is critical to upscaling our work.”

Trees That Count supports over 1,000 native planting groups like Jana’s, and through the generosity of businesses and everyday Kiwis, has been able to provide them with over one million funded native trees.

“Everything we do aims to increase native tree cover across Aotearoa,” says Robyn. 

“We’re delighted to work with DOC on initiatives like this one, because we truly believe that by working together to care for our native rākau, we’re transforming our country for the better.”


Find out more about the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee planting programme at

Learn more about Te Tapu o Tāne on their website: