When it comes to taking a full landscape view, Tommy’s Wellington is ahead of the pack. 

It’s easy to see the changes that need to be made in our own backyards: a lick of paint here, a fresh bit of foliage there. But what about our big backyard: the diverse and lush landscapes of Aotearoa New Zealand?

At first glance, it’s a bit bleak: the Ministry for the Environment reports that around 4,000 of Aotearoa’s native species are threatened or at risk of becoming extinct. Deforestation continues at an alarming rate: we lost 9.15kha of forest in 2021 alone. 

It’s not without hope, though—if you look a little harder, you’ll find countless groups around the country who are working hard to regenerate pockets of native bush. 

From the rainforest vibe of the West Coast to riparian farmland in Tairāwhiti, everyday New Zealanders are doing the hard mahi to regrow a big backyard that we can all be proud of: one that supports our native birds, waterways, soil, ecosystems, and communities. 

This is where Tommy’s comes in. The Tommy’s office in Wellington has partnered with national environmental charity Trees That Count to support native planting projects in the Wellington region. 

“We know that boosting New Zealand’s beautiful environment is one of the most important contributions we can make as a company,” says Henry Bong, Marketing Manager.

For every listing, Tommy’s donates another native tree to be planted in the Wellington region: so far, this means they’ve helped to plant a massive 1,400 native trees, and the number is still growing. 

The native trees funded have been planted and cared for by two incredible community groups working in the company’s backyard: The Makaracarpas, and Whareroa Guardians. 

Makaracarpas are, as their name suggests, based in Wellington’s Makara catchment. The group consists of a highly motivated team of 18 landowners working to improve their water quality—among other outcomes.

“There’s a whole range of drivers that get people involved,” says Louise Askin, coordinator for the group.

“Some are more focused on water quality and biodiversity, others are more concerned about eroding stream banks eating into their property or paddocks, and still others about flooding.” 

Tommy’s has helped the Makaracarpas along the way with more than 600 native trees, and the group has collectively planted almost 20,000.

Likewise doing their bit to boost Greater Wellington’s big backyard, the Whareroa Guardians work to restore the land at Whareroa Farm near Paekakariki. 

The Guardians have been working in the area (around 250 hectares of retired grazing land) for around fourteen years, and estimate a colossal 60,000 native trees planted over this time. 

“Mostly, it’s about contributing to the future,” says Ann Evans from the Trust. “This is for my children, my grandchildren.”

Little actions have a big impact for our environment—as Tommy’s is discovering. 

“1,400 native trees have the potential to remove about 319 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere over the next fifty years, so it’s a massive deal for our atmosphere as well as the other benefits,” says Henry. 

This total also means that Tommy’s has achieved Trees That Count’s Kahurangi Committed to Climate certification for two years running. 

Why not join Tommy’s on their journey to helping restore our big backyard? We’ve got some ideas for you below.

  • Work out your estimated carbon emissions for the month, then use Trees That Count’s native tree carbon calculator to work out how many native trees would mitigate those emissions treesthatcount.co.nz/native-trees-carbon-calculator/
  • Focus on using sustainable building materials for your property renovations or upgrades
  • If you’ve got space in your own backyard, why not consider native trees as part of your landscaping? Find regional guides for planting natives at treesthatcount.co.nz/resources
  • A quick internet search will help with native restoration groups in your area, who are always looking for a hand
  • Or join Tommy’s in donating a $10 native tree (or gift one to a friend or family member for a special occasion) at treesthatcount.co.nz 

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