New trees have rugby roots

By Roger Moroney

The Hawke's Bay landscape is set to be greened out to the tune of 3000 new trees next month as part of the final stage of the national Living Legends conservation and planting project.

The trees will be planted across the Ahuriri Estuary, which is one of 14 locations around the country in which more than 40,000 native trees will be planted this year.

Living Legends was set up in 2011 to leave a legacy of New Zealand hosting the Rugby World Cup by planting trees using volunteers and living rugby legends throughout the country.

The rugby legends were selected that year by each region's provincial rugby union based on their significant contribution to the game in New Zealand.

The Bay's rugby legend is New Zealand Rugby Union president Ian MacRae.

Mr MacRae said he was delighted to be involved with such a worthy programme, although sorry that because of his commitments with the NZRU he would not be able to take part in the August 17 planting at the estuary.

"It is a fantastic project that brings together rugby and conservation, and a privilege to be able to make a difference to New Zealand for generations to come."

He said he was "honoured" to be part of it.

After the August day, which will bring an end to the programme, volunteers will have planted 10,200 native trees throughout the estuary landscape. Throughout the country, 170,000 native trees will have been planted.

Volunteers wanting to take part must register their interest through the website,

Registrations for the Bay planting, which will take place between 9am and noon, will close on August 14.


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