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Unison enters partnership with Maraetōtara Tree Trust

Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough (left), and Maraetōtara Tree Trust Chair, Pat Turley on the banks of the Maraetōtara River.

Unison Networks has entered a three-year partnership with river restoration charity, Maraetōtara Tree Trust.

Formed in 2002 and led by volunteers, the purpose of the Maraetōtara Tree Trust (MTT) is to protect, enhance and restore all 43 kilometres (86 kilometres both sides) of the Maraetōtara River. The project improves the ecosystem by establishing permanent reserved habitats for regenerating native plants, birds and wildlife.

Named as Lead Partner, Unison has committed to financially supporting the Trust’s planting programme through until May 2022. The partnership will also provide an opportunity for the company’s employees to get involved in voluntary work at the Maraetōtara River.

Unison Group Chief Executive, Ken Sutherland, said Unison is delighted to be commencing a relationship with the Maraetōtara Tree Trust.

“Unison’s vision is to be leading a sustainable energy future, which has a strong environmental dimension, as well as social and economic dimensions of sustainability,” said Mr Sutherland.

Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough, said Unison is looking forward to supporting the Trust and seeing it continue to thrive over the next three years.

“We see our sponsorship as a great opportunity for the company and our employees to help give back to the region at an environmentally sustainable level.

“As a company involved in the management of – and directly impacted by – vegetation, we hope that through our partnership with the Trust we can encourage and educate our communities to be safe about planting and maintaining trees near power lines,” said Mr Gough. 

Maraetōtara Tree Trust Board Chair, Pat Turley, said having Unison on board is a great step for the river project.

“MTT has been planting 11,000 to 15,000 native trees most years on the banks of the Maraetōtara, and with Unison’s support, we will be able to plant an additional 9,000 native trees over the coming three years. 

“Unison is well suited given it’s a community partnership, and the Trust is excited about the financial and teamwork aspects the company will bring,” said Mr Turley.

MTT has led Maraetōtara River restoration every year for 17 years, with over half of the 86 kilometres now reserved, fenced and planted.

Unison joins the Trust’s permanent sponsors David Trubridge, Turley & Co, Souness Stone and Clearview Estate Winery. Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and landowners are key partners.

Unison is proudly owned by the Hawke’s Bay Power Consumers’ Trust.

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