Planting smart to help prevent power outages

Case Studies Community

The Vector Urban Forest is a promise from Vector to plant two native trees for every tree we cut down to protect Auckland’s powerlines. It’s about working together to look after our power, our trees and our communities. We hope that through the Vector Urban Forest, we encourage Aucklanders to be smart about planting near power lines, and help us contribute positively to regenerating Auckland’s ecosystems and increasing canopy cover across the city.

Launch Weekend

On Friday 21st September we launched the Vector Urban Forest programme with a planting event at Puhinui Reserve, South Auckland with the help of Sustainable Coastlines. Over two days, employees from Vector, teams from Northpower, Electrix, Treescape, Auckland Council, a number of local businesses, school groups and community volunteers came together to plant approximately 15,000 native seedlings. 

About the tree planting area.

The reserve is a diverse ecological area that protects a variety of ecosystems and habitats including the Puhinui Stream that runs through the reserve.

Planting a range of native trees shrubs and grasses helps to remove sediment and excess nutrients, reducing erosion, providing shade, shelter and habitat to birds and stream organisms as well as capture carbon dioxide, which contributes in the ongoing battle against climate change.

Why are we doing this?

Through the Vector Urban Forest, we’re aiming to raise awareness of the need to keep trees well clear from power lines as well as encourage greater awareness of ‘planting smartly’; choosing the right species to plant around powerlines to help avoid power outages.

Our discussion paper Working Together on Resilience, identifies tree management as an area where we believe more can be done to help achieve better power network resilience.  By doing more to encourage joint responsibility around tree management near powerlines, we’re taking steps to build this resilience.

Trees provide a number of benefits for our city both from an environmental and social perspective.  

Working together

Managing trees is a community responsibility and by working together, we can help prevent power outages and keep the community safe. See more about who’s responsible for what trees around the network.

The Vector Urban Forest also provides a positive initiative for Vector to engage with local communities and work together on creating a future legacy for generations to come.  This aligns with our commitment to creating more sustainable cities and communities as one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals we have committed to. 

Some facts about the project so far:

  • Over the Urban Forest launch weekend approximately 16,000 trees, shurbs and grasses were planted in Puhinui Reserve – this includes 8,000 kanuka, 2,500 carex, 1,000 karamu and a range of other plants that help to improve waterways and provide habitat and food for native birds and insects. 

  • Over 500 people attended the two days of planting. 

  • The area of the Puhinui Stream where the planting occurred is an important spawning area for inanga or whitebait.  

  • The tallest trees, the Karaka, Kanuka and the Cabbage Tree, will grow to 7m - 8m in height over the next 10 years. 


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