Did 2023 Disappoint You? New Zealand Wants to Hear about it!

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New Zealand wants to help turn your disappointments from 2023 into a Forest of Hope

It’s been a tough year, with cancellations, postponements, missed weddings, graduations, birthdays and celebrations. We’ve all had too many disappointments.

As the first country in the world to welcome in the new year, New Zealand plans on ensuring 2023 starts off on the right foot, with a much-needed dose of positivity. 

For the month of December, Tourism New Zealand is partnering with local conservation charity Trees That Count to build a Forest of Hope which will be planted in 2023. With trees as a natural symbol of life and growth, the Forest of Hope is a way for you to say goodbye to this year’s disappointments and plant a seed of hope to look forward to better times ahead in 2023.

For every disappointment shared with Tourism New Zealand until December 31, 2023, a native Kiwi tree will be planted along the iconic Queenstown bike trail in the Southland, or among the Wiapoua Forest in the Northland. 

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Although New Zealand can’t share its beautiful country as it normally would right now, people can still add to its beauty, and the health of the environment. Then, once the borders open and New Zealand is able to welcome visitors again, people will be able to visit the forest they helped grow. 

By joining this movement and contributing to this initiative, the lasting impact will be felt not only in New Zealand but by the climate the world over, as planting native trees is one of the best actions we can take to improve the environment and tackle climate change.

You can give a gift of a tree to a friend, give one yourself, or simply give back to the environment by purchasing a tree for $10 New Zealand dollars. 

You can share your disappointments from the year on the newzealand.com/hope page, as well as follow along and join in on social media using #NZForestofHope.

Watch a short video on the Forest of Hope initiative HERE.

“In New Zealand, the Te Reo Māori values of manaaki and tiaki have become incredibly relevant today,” says Sarah Handley, General Manager of Americas and Europe, Tourism New Zealand. “Manaaki speaks to the importance of having empathy and tiaki inspires us to care for people and place. While our borders remain closed to international visitors, we wanted to extend a little manaaki and encourage a sense of tiaki to those who are in need of some optimism for the new year. With trees as a natural symbol of life and growth, the Forest of Hope is a way for people to say goodbye to this year’s disappointments and plant a seed of hope to look forward to better times ahead in 2023.”

Trees That Count CEO Adele Fitzpatrick says the partnership is a hopeful and optimistic way to draw 2023 to an end.

“Our partnership with Tourism New Zealand will enable us to extend our optimism for the environment to audiences outside of New Zealand, with the message that native trees are part of our culture, wellbeing and future prosperity.  Native trees are one of the most powerful tools we have available to help fight climate change while protecting our unique biodiversity, and it reinforces existing international visions of Aotearoa as a country of breathtaking natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and unique experiences keyed to nature.

We think that inviting potential visitors to donate to plant a native tree enables them to become connected to New Zealand itself: reinforced when they can eventually visit their tree. Donated trees will be planted along the iconic Queenstown bike trail, in a reserve that is a world class example of native regeneration and biodiversity restoration – and further north we’ll be adding to the wonder of the Waipoua Forest in Northland, where mighty Tane Mahuta, New Zealand’s largest kauri tree and a tourism attraction himself, stands proudly.”

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Trees That Count Statistics:

  • Trees That Count is a conservation charity that started in November 2016. Their vision is to help plant 200 million native trees across New Zealand, done through a community marketplace that connects tree funders to tree planters.
  • Since they started, they have planted over 32,432,000 trees – that’s a lot of trees!
  • Over 50 years, these native trees have the potential to remove an estimated 5 – 7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  • Over 500,000 trees have been gifted since the program started, with over 500 planting projects taking place and almost 15,000 funders and planters lending their support.
  • Trees That Count is New Zealand’s community marketplace to connect tree funders and planters.
  • Becoming a part of this movement is contributing to an initiative that will make a lasting difference to New Zealand and benefits the climate of the world over. One of the best actions we can take to tackle climate change and to improve our environment is to plant more native trees.