Kaupapa / Purpose
The Rotary Peace, Remembrance and Community Forests Trust is a centennial initiative – marking the founding of Rotary in Aotearoa New Zealand in 1921.
During the century, Rotary’s power has come from harnessing communities and volunteers to make a difference.
To celebrate a new century, Rotary Trees Trust is mobilising community participation at all ages, especially among young people, to plant millions of native plants over the next decade – and beyond. This is to create native ecosystems that support the goal of a pest-free New Zealand and to help address climate change.
Planting is done by volunteers, working through community groups, with funding support from Te Uru Rākau – Forestry New Zealand and other backers.
Rotary is an international service organisation with 1.2 million members, with 7500 members in 280 clubs in New Zealand.
Rotary has been active in environmental issues since the 1930s. It established ‘Trees for Survival’ to engage primary school students in plantings. Many Rotary clubs have planted alongside walkways. Wellington Rotary started with planting on Lambton Quay in 1968, and in 2021 will celebrate 100,000 plantings since then.
How does Rotary Trees work?
We recognise that communities differ in their resources and needs, and the Trust aims to help communities link with funding, sources of seedlings and expertise.
The Rotary Peace, Remembrance and Community Forests Trust which manages this project is chaired by:
The Trust Chair is Dr Russ Ballard CNZM who has brings to the trust experience as Chief Executive of major Government departments.
The Trust Patrons are Sir Anand Satyanand, (former Governor-General) and Bill Boyd CNZM (former Rotary International President).
Te Uru Rākau | Forestry New Zealand One Billion Trees Fund has provided the catalyst for this transformational community movement.
Who is involved?
In its first year, the Trust has supported 9 projects.
Conservation Volunteers New Zealand is a key partner to manage the Peace, Remembrance and Community Forests initiative and where needed, to coordinate planting, training, education, health and safety.
Local authorities in Wellington, Porirua, Kapiti, Auckland, are major partners with land and availability of seeds.
Volunteers from 280 Rotary clubs help with identifying sites, planting and weeding.
Organisations ready to support projects as the Trust develops further sites include:
Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association - 181 Clubs
Fire and Emergency New Zealand: 637 fire stations touching every community with over 14,000 firefighters, including volunteers
The New Zealand Defence Force mobilising Cadet and Reserve Forces
Scouts New Zealand through over 350 locations
The Department of Corrections have agreed in principle to support the programme.