Students at South Auckland’s De La Salle College have planted 700 native trees in an effort to restore the school’s environment by planting several hundred metres of riparian areas.

Funding for the 700 seedlings was made possible through people donating and gifting native trees through Trees That Count.

The natives were planted along the small urban stream that borders the school where the banks dominated by aggressive weeds were cleared by scrub bar before planting. The stream is a tributary of the Otaki Creek.

This builds on the committed efforts of the College’s Enviro-Council who have planted 1600 native trees and plants over the past 2 years. The ‘Our Stream, Our Taonga’ project was launched in 2015, realising the longtime vision of Science Faculty Head Kane Raukura to restore, nurture and protect the stream. The success of the first planting stage under the leadership of Year 9 boys earned them an Enviroschools award.

Mr Raukura organised several classes of up to 12 students at a time to assist with ferrying plants along the stream edges and then helping with the planting. All the students who assisted are part of the College’s Enviro-Council.

The seedlings were grown at the Manukau Institute of Technology Nursery, comprising mostly native shrubs including akeake, koromiko, mahoe, kohuhu, karamu, tarata, ti kouka and red mapou, along with smaller numbers of the native trees kahikatea, totara and kowhai.

Trees That Count is a conservation movement which aims to mitigate climate change through empowering New Zealanders to plant more native trees. For 2017 Trees That Count has issued a challenge to New Zealanders – to see one tree planted for every Kiwi, that’s 4.7 million native trees.

Trees That Count is funded by The Tindall Foundation, and delivered by the Project Crimson Trust in partnership with Pure Advantage and the Department of Conservation. For more information on how to get involved, or to pledge or donate trees to help grow the count, visit