News | 2 June 2016

Spicer Forest gets new trees for Arbor Day

Arbor Day is celebrated worldwide this Sunday 5 June and encourages groups and individuals to plant and care for trees. For Wellington City Council it marks the start of the official planting season.

Weta perched on reading glasses worn Mayor Wade-Brown at Spicer Forest Arbor Day.
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown captures the attention of a native weta at the Spicer Forest Arbor Day tree planting with Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett and school children.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says Arbor Day planting at Spicer Forest restores the native forest for future generations and other species that share our planet.

“We will transform the old pine forest into a biodiverse recreational area.”

“This will include track access from Tawa, connections to Porirua and to the Outer Green Belt,” she says. “There will be tracks for walkers, runners, horse riders and mountain bikers.”

“We are well on our way to achieving our ambitious goal of planting two million trees across the city by 2020,” she says. 

To date 1.4 million trees have already been planted.   

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett said the decision by Porirua and Wellington City Councils to buy back the harvest rights to the Spicer Forest means that not only will this area one day return to our own New Zealand bush, but our streams will not suffer from the sediment run-off that is an inevitable consequence of land clearance.     

“A significant part of the Spicer Forest lies within the catchment for Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour. The Arbor Day plantings contribute to our vision for “A healthy catchment, waterways and harbour, enjoyed and valued by the community”.  

Councillor Helene Ritchie, Chair of the Environment Committee, is excited by the plans for Spicer Forest. 

“It’s great to see the transformation of Spicer Forest underway, special native birds such as the kakariki are found here, and this planting will mean they can travel more easily between areas like Redwood Bush and Porirua Scenic Reserve/Colonial Knob. Te Araroa, NZ’s national walkway, also runs through here” she says.