Free native plants

Published on 15 May 2024

Image of a man planting.

Whangārei's favourite plant giveaway is back! This is a chance to get your hands dirty by planting free native plants.

Every June, Council runs the Pōhutukawa Coast Programme, giving away native plants to residents of the Whangārei District.

The free plants will be available from Saturday 8 June 2024.

To ensure they are distributed evenly, there is a limit of two plants per Whangārei District property.

Information about the distributors will be available from Friday 7 June. Check back here for details.

The plants available this year

  • Pōhutukawa
  • Pūriri
  • Kauri
  • Rewarewa
  • Tītoki
  • Griselinia lucida
  • Cabbage tree
  • Melicope ternate
  • Melicytus ramiflorus
  • Griselinia littoralis
  • Melicytus novae - zelandiae
  • Myrsine australis
  • Nīkau
  • Plagianthus regius
  • Pittosporum crassifolium
  • Olearia albida
  • Pseudopanax arboreus
  • Pittosporum eugenioides
  • Wineberry
  • Pseudopanax lessonii
  • Pittosporum tenuifolium
  • Hebe diosmifolia
  • Coprosma repens
  • Flax
  • Hebe parvifolia
  • Hibiscus richardsonii
  • Libertia ixioides
  • Hebe stricta
  • Astelia banksii
  • New Zealand ice plant
  • Rengarenga lilly

More about the Pōhutukawa Coast Programme

Every June, Council runs the Pōhutukawa Coast Programme, giving away native plants to residents of the Whangārei District.

"Whether you live in a rural area or are a city dweller, play your part in creating a more diverse natural environment. Plant your free plants and be part of this popular programme," says Council's Matatau Technical Officer Spencer Jellyman.

"The programme was set up to help re-establish pōhutukawa trees along our coastline. Now we have expanded it across our District, aiming to provide habitat and food for our native birds, bringing lovely birdsong to your backyard.

"Each year, the popularity of the programme continues to grow. This year, we have had to increase the plant numbers to cater for the demand. You can be sure the 5,240 plants we are giving away will go fast, so you need to be quick," says Mr Jellyman.

After 34 years of the programme, the total number of plants distributed is 96,120.

Whangarei District Council Parks and Recreation Manager Louis Rattray says, "The young plants are especially grown by Tawapou Coastal Natives in Tūtūkākā. The mix of native trees and shrubs are suitable for coastal locations, rural or urban properties, wetlands and hedges."

To ensure they are distributed evenly, there is a limit of two plants per Whangārei District property.

"If you have more than one property or are picking up for someone else, please bring a rates statement as proof of multiple properties. There's a maximum of 10 plants (5 properties) per owner, to ensure we distribute the plants to as many people as possible," says Mr Rattray.

"Whangarei District Council Parks and Recreation Department and the Northern Branch of the Royal Forest and Bird Society will assist with the distribution of the trees and shrubs, as they have done in the past. The programme's plant distributors are all knowledgeable and will be happy to help you select the right plant for your situation. We do not put aside plants for people to collect later.

"We would like to thank everyone who has made this year's Pōhutukawa Coast Programme possible. Special recognition goes to the volunteer distributors who provide this valuable service for the community year after year," says Mr Rattray.

Tagged as: