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Government supports native planting with new tree restoration role at UC

17 July 2019

Two native planting and restoration projects in Canterbury have received support from the One Billion Trees Fund, including a unique project led by the University of Canterbury (UC).


Image: Restoration planting next to an existing forest remnant in Northland.

“The projects include a 20-hectare native forest regeneration project on the Banks Peninsula and a restoration ambassador role led by the University of Canterbury,” Forestry Minister Shane Jones said in his recent announcement of the initiatives.

“Partnership funding of up to $98,875 has enabled the creation of a native forest restoration ambassador, led by the University’s School of Forestry.

“The aim of the native restoration ambassador will be to provide free, independent advice to farmers, community groups and iwi about how to conserve native biodiversity on their land,” Shane Jones said.

The One Billion Trees (1BT) Fund offers both direct grants for planting and regeneration projects as well as partnership funding for projects that aim to reduce the barriers to tree planting. Both Canterbury initiatives support the goal of the 1BT Fund which aims to fund two-thirds native planting or restoration projects.

Restoration Ambassador

Up to $98,875 has been awarded to support the Restoration Ambassador Project led by the University of Canterbury (UC), through until 2020. Partnerships through the 1BT Fund requires co-funding, with the University of Canterbury contributing $14,000.

UC Forestry Professor David Norton is the driving force behind the role.

The goal is to provide impartial, expert advice to farmers, community groups and iwi to help them restore native biodiversity on their own terms, Professor Norton says.

“The successful Restoration Ambassador will initially focus on areas that have limited availability of expert restoration advice such as Gisborne and East Coast, and will focus on providing this information for Māori landowners,” Professor Norton says.

“With the One Billion Trees programme there is a tremendous opportunity for a substantial increase in the amount of native forest being established, but the challenge is to make sure that this is done well and contributes to landscape-level biodiversity conservation.”

The project will create a strategic relationship with UC’s School of Forestry, leading to robust native planting decisions.

The goals of this partnership are to:

  • Create a strategic link between the School of Forestry and Te Uru Rākau (Forestry NZ)
  • Provide access to the School of Forestry’s restoration expertise to actual and potential applicants of the 1BT fund in areas with limited access to such advice.
  • Develop robust and successful restoration applications under 1BT.

For more information, media contact:

Professor David Norton, School of Forestry, College of Engineering, University of Canterbury,, Phone: 027 201 7794

More information
Visit our media enquiries page to contact UC Media.
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