Eighty-two per cent of New Zealanders are extremely or very concerned about water pollution, with the issue rating higher than both living costs and the national health system.
Addressing the concern Sustainable Coastlines, together with ANZ, is hitting the road to plant native trees and flaxes across New Zealand as part of the ANZ Love Your Water Tour 2019.
The ANZ Love Your Water Tour 2019 will see hundreds of Kiwi volunteers plant tens of thousands of native plants and trees along waterways in 10 New Zealand regions.
The joint riparian restoration effort aims to help reduce pollution by soaking up runoff, controlling erosion by stabilising river banks, creating habitat for improving native biodiversity and helps remove pollution from the atmosphere, directly addressing Climate Change.
As part of the planting effort, Sustainable Coastlines is engaging thousands of school students, families, corporate volunteers, farmers and others to amplify important waterways restoration already being carried out by local community groups.
“Cleaning up our waterways is an immense challenge,” says Sam Judd, Co-Founder of Sustainable Coastlines and former Young New Zealander of the Year, “and this is an issue that affects everyone in the community.”
But despite the difficulty of cleaning up waterways, Judd remains confident that it can be done: “Planting trees next to waterways is one way that we can tackle this challenge with measurable results,” says Judd, “the goal of this tour is to support local efforts to scale up this awesome activity,” he says.
As well as collaborating with local farmers and ANZ staff in the regions, the group is also planting thousands of trees in the main centres where waterways suffer the worst pollution.
This isn’t the first time ANZ and Sustainable Coastlines have worked together. Earlier this year more than 1,250 ANZ employees and Sustainable Coastlines staff collected around 10,000 litres of rubbish off New Zealand beaches.
ANZ Managing Director Commercial and Agri, Mark Hiddleston, says the ANZ Love Your Water Tour provides a practical opportunity for staff and customers to help protect the environment.
“We’re looking forward to working with our customers, stakeholders and local community groups across New Zealand to benefit our waterways. We hope everyone involved in the tour learns something new about protecting the environment,” says Mr Hiddleston.