Sustainable Coastlines urges action this World Biodiversity Day | Sustainable Coastlines

Media release: 22 May 2022

An increasing number of New Zealanders are worried about biodiversity loss according to the 2022 Better Futures Report. 40% reported they were concerned, up from 29% the previous year, reflecting the warnings of the scientific community which states that Aotearoa is losing biodiversity at an alarming rate. Addressing these concerns is award-winning charity Sustainable Coastlines, which alongside ANZ, is encouraging all whānau and friends across Aotearoa to take action this World Biodiversity Day (22 May) by signing up to volunteer for the ANZ Love Your Water Planting Series this winter.

World Biodiversity Day was created by the United Nations to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues, which is one of the key aims of the ANZ Love Your Water Planting Series. The series will span two sites in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, and one each in the Waikato, Te Ūpoko o Te Ika a Māui Wellington, and Waitaha Canterbury regions. These riparian planting projects provide Kiwis of all ages the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and lend a helping hand to restore their local waterway and enhance our native biodiversity.

“People protect what they love, which is why our purpose at Sustainable Coastlines is to connect people to nature and inspire change”, says Love Your Water Programme Manager, Dan Downing.

“Through our Love Your Water programme, we support communities in five targeted regions through Aotearoa, to restore and look after their local waterway. Riparian planting is critical work — 94% of rivers in urban areas and 82% of rivers in pastoral farming areas are not suitable for swimming in. Beyond these critical numbers, we know that the Ministry for the Environment has already declared our indigenous biodiversity to be in crisis and with the Ministry of Conservation stating that almost 30% of the country’s terrestrial species are threatened or in risk of extinction — the time to act is now”.

“For us, it’s incredibly encouraging to see that the health of our environment is currently top of mind for Kiwis. We invite everyone to take action this World Biodiversity Day by registering to attend our planting days over winter”.

Matariki Tree-Planting Day, Te Atatū, 2021

The Better Futures Report 2022 also states that concern over the protection of New Zealand native animals and plants is at 53%, up from 46% the previous year.

“The interest to do more is clearly there”, adds Downing, “and the opportunity to do something about it is made possible with the ANZ Love Your Water Planting Series”.

Now in its third year, Sustainable Coastlines and ANZ’s partnership has so far helped put 129,824 trees in the ground and brought together thousands of volunteers throughout Aotearoa.

“We’re delighted to bring together the ANZ Love Your Water Planting Series for another season”, says Antonia Watson, ANZ New Zealand CEO.

“Our relationship with Sustainable Coastlines helps drive greater outcomes for biodiversity in our communities, and it’s a perfect chance for our people to get outside and connect with te taiao (the natural environment) and each other.”

“We’ve got a very special environment to protect here in Aotearoa, and it desperately needs our help — which is why we hope to see a record number of volunteers helping out this season”, adds Downing.

“Please register to attend our tree plantings this World Biodiversity Day, and join us in this purposeful mahi to help restore Papaptūānuku”.

These tree planting events are family friendly and free for all to attend. All necessary equipment and instructions will be provided by Sustainable Coastlines, including health and safety and complimentary drinks and kai for all volunteers.