Latest Ryman news

Residents ‘dig’ Ryman’s Trees for Fees initiative

Written by Maryvonne Gray
on June 21, 2024

With 500 trees now newly-planted on a slope in a Whitford farm paddock, Ryman Healthcare is well on the way to fulfilling its promise of a more sustainable invoicing process.

For every resident who switches from paper to email invoicing, Ryman has pledged to plant a tree, and has partnered with Trees for Survival Charitable Trust to achieve this goal.

This became reality for Bruce McLaren Village resident Helen Fletcher as she braved both mud and drizzly rain to roll up her sleeves and dig holes alongside a class of enthusiastic Year 6 Howick Primary School students.


“It’s pretty tough going digging through the grass, you have to put your weight into it,” says Helen. “The kids did an amazing job!”

Helen joined fellow Bruce McLaren residents Peter Bowyer and Barbara Malcolm on one of the twice-weekly planting days that Donald’s Farm in Whitford holds with local schools.

According to Farm Manager Sam Waugh, the aim is to plant out 28,000 native plants on the Whitford farm by the end of winter.

The gully targeted by the team on the planting day is a typical ‘at risk’ area, according to Trees for Survival Facilitator Linzi Hughes, but with the planting of native trees and plants such as hebe, flax, cabbage trees, manuka and two grasses – carex secta and cyperus ustulatus, the goal is to stabilise the ground.

The children have helped to grow the plants from tiny seedlings in special shade houses at their school as part of Trees for Survival’s school programme.

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Trees for Survival Facilitator Linzi Hughes shows the Howick Primary School students some of the plants they will be planting in the gully as parents and residents look on (above) and everyone gets stuck in to the job in hand (below). Peter Bowyer, Barbara Malcolm, Helen Fletcher and Village Activities Coordinator Kaila Bhana (top pic).

IMG_1055 (Large)Trees for Survival was set up to support schools to grow and plant native trees along waterways and at risk sites and is working with 230 schools and local communities across New Zealand in the 2024 season.

Ryman’s involvement came about thanks to a goal of the Head Office fees team to achieve more sustainable business practices.

While a large proportion of Ryman’s 12,500 New Zealand residents already receive payment acknowledgements via email, the team set a target of converting 3,000 more residents, and came up with the Trees for Fees idea.

By partnering with Trees for Survival, Ryman hopes the incentive of a tree being planted will double the impact by encouraging residents and their families to go paperless, while at the same time doing something good for the environment.

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Helen Fletcher gets some help from 10-year-old Sukhman from Howick Primary School while planting a flax on the slope (above) while Peter Bowyer helps tidy up the seedling bags afterwards (below).

IMG_1064 (Large) 1Their target of 3,000 would mean a saving of $100,000 a year in postage, envelopes and time, says Emma Nolan, from Ryman Healthcare’s Fees team, who came up with the idea.

“Since November, hundreds of residents have made the switch which is fantastic,” Emma says.

“We made our first tree donation to Trees for Survival when we reached 500 accounts, and we hope this planting event inspires some more residents to make the change.”

Trees for Survival National Manager Phil Lyon says the community-based organisation is ‘absolutely dependent’ on the goodwill and generosity of partners such as Ryman.

“We would like to acknowledge and thank Ryman Healthcare for their wonderful support of Howick Primary School, which has enabled 20 children to grow 839 native plants and plant 495 of these plants at their recent planting day.”

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Barbara Malcolm enjoys a ride in the farm vehicle with Farm Manager Sam Waugh.

About Ryman Healthcare:

Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies. The company owns and operates 45 retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia which are home to more than 13,900 residents and the company employs 6,800 team members.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Group Corporate Affairs Manager Silke Marsh on +64 27 294 3609 or Communications Advisor Maryvonne Gray on 027 552 0767.

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