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The Recloaking Papatūānuku Proposal is a living document open for input as we continue to engage with the Government, Māori, experts, environmental and community groups. This Proposal outlines some possible features thereof, in the expectation of further developing and progressing these in collaboration with stakeholders.

Weaving climate and ecological resilience into our whenua

Call to Action

Aotearoa New Zealand’s rivers are polluted and choked with sediment, and forests are falling silent. Storms rage across our landscapes, driven by human-induced climate change, destroying communities and livelihoods, taking lives, and scarring the land. Ecosystems are collapsing, and sea levels and temperatures are rising.

Papatūānuku is in trouble. And so are we, her people.

The interrelated climate, fresh water and biodiversity crises are driven by human action, and inaction. 

We now face an existential crisis. We caused this mess; we must fix it.

To this end, Pure Advantage and Tāne’s Tree Trust, with a growing alliance of signatories, including mana whenua groups with their ancestral connections to the land, are calling on Government, businesses, local communities, and every person in Aotearoa New Zealand to support and commit to

Recloaking Papatūānuku – an urgent and ambitious programme to restore our indigenous forests.

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By strategically reforesting and restoring 2.1 million hectares of indigenous forests over the next 10 years, we can start to reverse the alarming decline of our indigenous species; protect and improve our soils and waterways; secure enduring, long term carbon sinks; and weave climate and ecological resilience into our landscapes.

The New Zealand Government has committed to prioritising domestic action to meet our climate obligations. As a relatively wealthy, developed nation, and also one of the highest-emitting per capita, we could – and should – be doing considerably more to ‘play our part’ and demonstrate global leadership in addressing our climate and biodiversity crises together.

Recloaking Papatūānuku presents a well-researched, cost-effective, multi-win and high value opportunity for Aotearoa New Zealand to globally pioneer the nationwide implementation of a nature-based solution to the climate and biodiversity crises.

Recloaking Papatūānuku is not a substitute for deep and urgent emissions reductions; rather, it is a necessary complement. It is a solution to address a range of critical and interlinked ecological issues synergistically, and with the degree of urgency and ambition of action that Papatūānuku needs and deserves. Success could see Aotearoa become the first nature-positive nation in the world.

Informed and guided by mātaraunga Māori, Recloaking Papatūānuku also acknowledges our collective responsibility for the well-being of Papatūānuku and her future mokopuna, presenting an intergenerational commitment to create a lasting legacy for them. 

With multi-stakeholder support and collaboration across Aotearoa New Zealand, it is entirely achievable. But we need to start on this transformative initiative now

The growing Recloaking Papaptūānuku alliance of signatories includes

To request to become a signatory, please email This shows broad support in kind, no obligation and you can request that the logo be removed at any time.  

The Recloaking Papatūānuku Proposal is a living document open for input as we continue to engage with the Government, Māori, experts, environmental and community groups. This Proposal outlines some possible features thereof, in the expectation of further developing and progressing these in collaboration with stakeholders.

Bridge to Recloaking Papatūānuku

This series of interviews with experts by Vincent Heeringa were recorded at the O Tātou Ngahere Conference which along with the O Tātou Ngahere campaign, have paved the way to Recloaking Papatūānuku.

Recloaking Papatūānuku must recognise and empower the stewardship of those who live on and care for the land. It will require multi-scale, multi-stakeholder support and commitment to fully realise the scope of its aspirations and the multiplicity of benefits it would deliver.  

Sam ‘The Trap Man’ Gibson

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“Cyclone Gabrielle hit and wreaked havoc on our Tairāwhiti river systems, sheep and beef farms, the whole taiao has been hit hard…we really need to take a good look at what the future of the region looks like.”

Rhiannon Mackie and Sophie Handford

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“Everyone actually knows what we each need to be doing to reduce our footprint…we just need to get on and do it.”

Mikaere Berryman-Kamp and Taylor Davies-Colley 

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“The answer to our social issues, climate issues, environmental issues which are all just one big issue really, is the integration of us and nature.”

Prof. Tim Flannery

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“We are in a position of great risk, the time for action to minimise risk is now, a decade from now what we do won’t be as impactful.”

Hallé Aish and Natalia Dunbier

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“If the government figures out how to make native forests profitable in the eyes of the economy and the market, then I think people will put the same care and time into them as a farmer does with a dairy farm.”

Dr. Jason Preble

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“We have biodiversity loss & climate crises at a planetary level & only in the last generation or two started to wrap our heads around the scale and we’ve never tackled a problem that big. We are going to need collaboration to match that problem scale which has never been done by humanity. “

Te Kapunga Dewes

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“Yes we need to deal with gross emissions but we also just need a lot more trees, and preferably a lot more natives.”

Laura Watson

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“There are thousands of farmers across the country carrying out restorative environmental projects and we need landowners to be incentivized and recognized for the incredible work that’s being done across our catchments.”

Dr. David Bergin and Michael Bergin

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“Try to work with nature as much as possible and use all the other techniques of fencing, pest animal control, weed control and planting to supplement what nature can do. That is particularly required at large scale because if we’re looking for tens of thousands of hectares of marginal land to go into native forestry, we’re not going to be doing it by planting alone.”

Geoff Ross

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“If we are to be levied on a stock unit we need to be rewarded for a tree, we need to be treating both sides of the ledger equally.”

Dr. Fiona Carswell

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“A good future looks like a diversified landscape and we can take action to ensure nature can heal itself. We think natural regeneration will be much more effective at landscape scales and we don’t have to pay for every tree coming up in that process.”

Finn Ross

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“We need to be pursuing emissions reductions as fast and far as possible and we need to be taking as much carbon out of the atmosphere and putting it into native forests as we can – the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal states we should be trying to restore 30% of every habitat by 2030.”

Dr. Rod Carr

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“Native forests of mixed ages, mixed species and often indigenous in their location and specificities, those are the forests that will provide offsets for the hard to abate emissions, to keep us at net zero for the second half of this century.”

Adam Thompson

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“My land connects me to my family, which connects me to the community which ultimately allows us to connect to the country as a whole and I think that’s really important.”

Sam ‘The Trap Man’ Gibson

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“The bush is the one place I feel like me, the bush has looked after me since I was a little kid…I love the bush, for me, it is my place of wellbeing.”

Join the movement.

Subscribe to download the infographic.

Recloaking Papatūānuku is coming together with the collaboration of a range of experts and passionate people. Thank you to everyone involved to date.

Trustees: Sir Stephen Tindall, Phillip Mills, Dame Anne Salmond, Rob Morrison (Chair), Geoff Ross, Katherine Corich and Andrew Grant.

Secreteriat: Simon Millar and Amy Spitzer.

Trustees: Dr. Jacqui Aimers, Peter Berg ONZM, Dr. David Bergin, Michael Bergin, Ian Brennan, Ian Brown, Jon Dronfield, Gerard Horgan, Rob McGowan, Wayne O’Keefe, Paul Quinlan, Prof. Warwick Silvester ONZM.

Office: Mel Ruffell, Keri Wilson.

Manu Caddie, Peter Crabtree, Olivia Grainger, Dr. Christina Hood, Emeritus Prof. David Norton, Prof. Merata Kawharu

Pead – Jack Wheeler and Caitlin Henneker
Whare PR – Bridgette Tapsell and Rangi Ahipene
Vincent Heeringa

Warren Elwin

Al Guthrie & Emeritus Prof. David Norton

Subscribe to download our PDF version

Thank you! Here's the download link - Carbon Sequestration by Native Forest – Setting the Record Straight