Sharron Botica, AIA New Zealand
“Trees can be magical. There’s something about their strength and longevity that offers hope after the loss of a loved one.”
Several days after Sharron Botica arrived home from Waiheke Island, the notes started pouring in. They were filled with words of gratitude from people whose loved ones had been honoured at AIA’s tree-planting ceremony on the island.
One note read: “’Thank you to AIA for this wonderful tribute to our dear husband and father.” Others expressed similar sentiments. “It really warmed my heart to learn how much comfort it gave them,” says Sharron, Chief Customer Officer of AIA New Zealand. “It felt like we’d landed on the right initiative.”
Sharron and her team had spent months leading up to the event looking for the right way to honour Life customers who recently passed away. In the end, they partnered with NZ AIA Vitality charity partner Trees That Count and sent 35 AIA New Zealand employees and AIA Vitality Ambassador, Ian Jones to the island to plant more than 400 native New Zealand trees.
AIA NZ have funded over 8,000 trees since the partnership started in 2020.
“We are protecting and restoring native flora and fauna around New Zealand, while also helping our customers during a vulnerable time,” Sharron says. “Trees can be magical. There’s something about their strength and longevity that offers hope after the loss of a loved one.”