Contact Energy is a major landowner within the Greening Taupo area operating several geothermal power stations with associated infrastructure. Power production is the priority for any land it owns however parts of its land holdings are suitable for forest restoration. Contact is generally supportive of this project.
Contact has identified two areas which it will be undertaking planting of in the near future, which could be planted with native tall forest species. These occur between Wairakei and Taupo and will become stepping stones of native habitat in a priority ecological corridor. Contact has stated that the cheapest option would be to plant these areas in pine trees, while native trees will likely be at least four times the cost. Continued lobbying to Contact to plant this land with native forest species or offers of assistance e.g. coordination of a Greening Taupo community planting day may likely be required to persuade them.
Contact Energy also has an Environmental Enhancement Budget that could be accessed to contribute to native forest restoration for part of the Greening Taupo project, though they have been circumspect with elaborating more about the details of this. It also funds the Wairakei Charitable Trust. Contact staff are also given a day per year to volunteer to the community and it was suggested that staff volunteer days could contribute to Greening Taupo’s projects.
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