The University has set a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. Our tree-planting programme is one of a suite of initiatives aimed at achieving this goal.

A 33-year collaboration

Growing Our Future is a collaborative project run by Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington and the Wellington City Council. The Council has leased 11 hectares of land in Ohariu to the University for the next 33 years. During this time the University is responsible for replanting the land in native forest.

The project is a significant part of the University’s strategy to become carbon neutral by 2030. As the forest develops, the carbon captured in the trees and soil will help offset the University’s carbon dioxide emissions.

The current plan is to plant and nurture over 20,000 seedlings from 2021 to 2023. Volunteers will plant around 2,400 trees per year and contractors will plant the remainder.

This collaboration represents a novel approach to reforestation and education, where the indigenous biodiversity of the land will be restored while providing a range of benefits to the community.


The reforestation project will have many benefits, including:

  • carbon sequestration
  • opportunities for applied research and teaching
  • extension of the Outer Green Belt
  • public access to forested areas and walking tracks
  • establishing working relationships between the University, the Council, and the public
  • opportunities for students, staff, and alumni to engage in volunteer activities
  • engagement with the local community.

The Growing Our Future project has been funded by the University with the support of the Rotary Peace, Remembrance and Community Forests Trust and individual donors.

Ohariu site planting areas
The planned planting areas for each year's volunteers shown on an aerial photo of the Ohariu Valley site.