Hon Marion Hobbs Speech Notes
Arbor Day, Town Belt land, Melrose, Tuesday June 5 12.30pm
- New Zealanders are passionate about their environment and the role nature can play in our lives - we see this in
gardening and recreation, and we see it in wider support and appreciation of our native bush.
- New Zealanders care a great deal about their native species and we value our native forests. Growing native trees
through revegetation programmes can have a great impact on the local biodiversity. It is no secret that the presence of
native habitat encourages the animals to move in. The birds are the most conspicuous inhabitants of the bush, and you
probably hear them before you see them. But lizards, moths, spiders and a whole range of other animals will live here.
In Wellington we are particularly fortunate to have this town belt of native bush right in our back yards, where we can
see it and walk through it every day.
- Many of the saplings that are planted today will grow and we will see them mature into adult trees. It will take a
long time, so it is important to not expect overnight results. If the plants are nurtured and we keep an eye on pests
and weeds, then the young people that are here today will be able to visit this place as adults and see the fruits of
- Some of the trees that are planted today may not survive, despite our best efforts. Many revegetation programmes
experience the occasional setback. It is important to not be discouraged if this happens. Even though we can choose
species that should be suited to an area, specific local soil conditions or unpredictable weather such as this year's
drought can conspire against us. What’s important is that we learn from any die back, and adjust the programme to
reflect the local conditions.
- I know that it takes considerable effort and resources to sustain restoration programmes. I congratulate you all on
giving up your time today. Protecting our native plants and animals requires people taking action. There is no one group
that can do it alone. It is encouraging to see the council and community working together on this project.
- It is important that we look after native bush and the animals that live in it. Planting trees is an excellent first
step. I’m confident that by next Arbor Day we’ll have taken further significant steps towards protecting biodiversity in