Industry News

Planting the seed of sustainability at TRENZ with Trees That Count

Delegates at TRENZ 2019 are leaving a legacy of over 1200 native trees to benefit the New Zealand environment, as the result of a partnership with Trees That Count. A tree is being planted in each delegate’s name to commemorate their attendance at New Zealand’s biggest annual tourism and trade event.

TRENZ has partnered with Trees That Count, a national campaign that aims to bring together businesses and everyday Kiwis to help plant 200 million native trees. 

All delegates attending TRENZ yesterday, including 600 TRENZ delegates setting off for their Activity Afternoon to sample the local tourism offerings, they were moved to discover a note in their picnic lunches explaining that a native tree has been planted for each of them. 

“Ensuring the entire tourism industry is sustainable is a key component of the Tourism Sustainability Commitment, and funding native trees is a great way for visitors and the tourism industry to give back to our environment and benefit from the results,” says Chris Roberts, Chief Executive of Tourism Industry Aotearoa, who manages and produces TRENZ on behalf on the Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust.

“This year’s TRENZ is going to be the most environmentally sustainable one yet, and that’s thanks to our partnerships with organisations such as Trees That Count.”

Trees That Count Chief Executive Adele Fitzpatrick says that our breathtaking forests and native trees in city areas are part of the New Zealand tourism experience.

“Visitors don’t come here to shop, they come here for our spectacular scenery and unique flora and fauna. Trees That Count is on a mission to see millions more native trees planted throughout New Zealand and we’re thrilled to partner with TRENZ. We hope their leadership inspires tourism operators throughout New Zealand to consider funding native trees as part of their own commitment to improving Aotearoa’s environment.”

The partnership with Trees That Count is just one of TIA’s efforts to create a sustainable event. The organization is also working with the Department of Conservation and Rotorua Canopy Tours to arrange pest trapping with TRENZ delegates on Monday, inviting delegates to come and help set and bait pest traps in a native, untouched patch of forest near Rotorua. The results of this week’s trapping efforts have come in, with 51 pests on the first night that have been recorded as trapped. As of Wednesday morning, another 42 pests had been trapped.

Canopy Tours General Manager Paul Button says TRENZ has had a fantastic conservation and sustainability focus this year, and it was great to see delegates helping to make a difference.

"We are stoked that TRENZ made conservation a core focus for New Zealand's annual tourism hui. It sends a powerful message to the country of the important role tourism operators can play in conservation,” says Mr Button.

"We’re really pleased with the trapping results, and that more of the Dansey Reserve is on the way to being predator-free. We feel that the programme really helped to demonstrate the value of sustainability and conservation to TRENZ attendees."

Find out more about TRENZ 2019’s sustainability initiatives here.