Lance Tie swapped financial reports for a spade, soil and 150 native plants in June – all part of an Asteron Life volunteer day to help Love Our Wetlands Waiheke restore the island’s vital wetland areas.
Lance, a senior accountant, and the entire Business Performance, Planning and Strategy Team made use of their annual volunteer leave day to support Love Our Wetland’s cause.
“We were keen to do something that would help protect New Zealand’s environment. We knew it would be a great way to give back to the community,” Lance says.
Love Our Wetlands is working to restore four ecologically significant wetlands on Waiheke Island: Te Matuku, Te Whau, Rangihoua and Matiatia Headland.
Wetlands are important natural resources. They function like the earth’s kidneys, helping to process nutrients, trap sediment and soils, and filter contaminants from the water. Wetlands also trap carbon, reduce flooding and act as a nursery for birds, fish and plants – including many endangered species.
When the Asteron Life team arrived on Waiheke, Love Our Wetlands equipped them with spades, gloves and hundreds of kanuka, flax and hebe seedlings.
Lance and his colleagues were shown how to prepare each plant by taking it out of its pot and wetting its roots, as well as how to dig the plant a hole and fill it in, and how to space the plants to help them grow and thrive.
“Seeing the passion that the Love Our Wetlands group have for this restoration project and for the environment was inspiring,” says Lance.
There was also a real team building element to the day. At the time Lance had recently joined Asteron Life.
He says, “on the ferry trip over to Waiheke, I was able to chat to people I hadn’t been able to spend much time with before. Then, when we were out in the wetlands actually planting trees, it was a great way to get to know my colleagues in a different setting.”
And at the end of a busy day, some of the team were able to make the most of the beautiful Waiheke setting, staying on to spend some social time together and enjoying a glass of locally produced wine.
About volunteer leave at Asteron Life