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Honda Gets Hands Dirty Planting Trees On Waiheke

Honda Gets Its Hands Dirty Planting Trees On Waiheke

Honda New Zealand has kicked off its environmental TreeFund planting programme at Whakanewha Regional Park on Waiheke Island as part of its commitment to finding natural solutions to air pollution problems.

The Honda TreeFund initiative means that 10 native trees will be funded for every new Honda sold. Native trees will be planted in association with Regional Councils around New Zealand and it is expected that more than 60,000 native trees will be funded annually as a measurable way of absorbing some of the emissions produced by motor vehicles.

“The TreeFund initiative is another way that Honda is doing its part to help the environment,” said Graeme Seymour, managing director at Honda. “All of our new cars sold in New Zealand are either low emission vehicles or ultra low emission vehicles, which substantially reduces the impact of emissions on our environment.”

“For example, on average, 200,000 cars travel through Auckland's Spaghetti Junction every day. If all these cars were the average age of the New Zealand fleet – 11.7 years - along a 1km stretch they would dump one tonne of soot every 3 days. It would take 240 days if every one of these vehicles was a Civic Hybrid.”

“The next step is zero emission cars and Honda is developing its Hydrogen Fuel Cell – although it will be a few years yet before fuel cell vehicles hit the mainstream. The Hybrid provides the link to the future of motoring.”

The Auckland Regional Council was the first purchaser of the Honda Civic Hybrid earlier this year.

“More people using hybrids instead of using petrol or diesel vehicles will contribute towards better air quality and help save lives,” said ARC Councillor, Gwen Bull. “More than 400 people die early every year in this country from vehicle emissions, 250 of those people in the Auckland region. Many more people suffer from asthma attacks and bronchial problems brought on by emissions from petrol and diesel vehicles. In Auckland 80% of air pollution is caused by motor vehicles.”

The Auckland Regional Council’s Director of Heritage, Graeme Murdoch, welcomed Honda’s contribution through the TreeFund and the Whakanewha planting day.

“Honda is setting a great example of how companies can go the extra mile to help make the place where they do business a great place to live,” Mr Murdoch said.

He said Honda joins several businesses and a multitude of community groups already working in partnership with the ARC on environmental and conservation initiatives.

“The Honda TreeFund contribution will boost funding for community conservation projects through the ARC’s Environmental Initiatives Fund. This shows that there are many ways the business community can support these initiatives and we are very grateful to Honda.”

The area within Whakanewha Regional Park is being restored to native vegetation after a long process of weed clearance. The area forms a backdrop to the endangered NZ Dotterel breeding area which is designated a conservation area in the park. The planting will include pöhutukawa, lace bark, kohi kohi, cabbage trees and some flax.

The existing campsite in the area is being moved this summer to the opposite side of the pa site to prevent disturbing the breeding area. The area will be progressively replanted during the next five years.

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