Vector today launched a new programme to raise awareness of the need to keep trees well clear from power lines, by planting thousands more of them to launch the initiative.
The Vector Urban Forest initiative means the power company will replace every tree it must cut down for network management or safety purposes, with two new natives, planted in areas that help with local ecological restoration schemes.
“The Vector Urban Forest is a promise from Vector to plant two native seedlings where they are needed most, and far away from Auckland’s powerlines which will mean Aucklanders’ power supply is better protected”, said Andre Botha, Vector’s Chief Networks Officer.
“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.”
Launched today at a volunteer planting event at Puhinui Reserve in South Auckland, staff from the company joined other community volunteers to plant approximately 10,500* native seedlings.
“This is a very high value ecological area and we know the Puhinui Stream is a spawning zone for native NZ whitebait (inanga),” said Michael Ngatai, Auckland Council Senior Biodiversity Advisor.
“Riparian planting like this helps restore our waterways and protect our native freshwater species.”
Mr Botha said the seedlings planted today represented the first ‘down payment’ on Vector’s promise to replace trees it removes.
“With the number of seedlings we got in the ground today we’ve accounted for the first few months of the Urban Forest promise. We’re asking Aucklanders to get behind our efforts to make the city more resilient and improve our local environment”.
Kate Beddoe, Chief Risk Officer for Vector, said the Vector Urban Forest would focus on regenerating areas of Auckland that urgently needed more trees to be planted.
“Ultimately it’s about helping create more sustainable cities and communities. By targeting the new planting towards areas that are at risk of erosion and other eco-system imbalances, including waterway restorations and urban reforestation schemes, we can achieve better tree management for the city while also improving social and environmental outcomes”.
For more information about smart planting near powerlines visit: vector.co.nz/planting
Plant smart around power lines:
Buy smart – use Vector’s table of suitable trees and other vegetation for planting under or near powerlines, available at vector.co.nz/planting
The species list is a guide only. It is made up of hardy, adaptable, easy to grow and buy species that are also good for wildlife from bees to birds.
If in doubt ask your local nursery for help – let them know where you live to help with suitable species selection, or buy plants with similar growth habits.
Remember, before planting a tree, look up and look out for power lines.
*Figure corrected following final approximate count on the day. Over 2 days approximately 15,000 seedlings were planted.