Government announces ambitious CONSERVATION goal
As we go to press,
the Government has announced the adoption of the Predator Free New
Zealand 2050 target and plans to set up a new public-private
partnership company by the beginning of 2017 to help fund regional
large-scale predator eradication programmes.
Minister Maggie Barry said that “Now is the time for a concerted
long-term nationwide effort to rid ourselves of the introduced rats,
stoats and possums...”
Under the strategy
a new government company, Predator Free New Zealand Limited, will
sponsor community partnerships and pest eradication efforts around
The idea is to
bring together central and local government, iwi, philanthropists,
and community groups to tackle large-scale predator free projects in
regions around New Zealand. The Predator Free 2050 Project will
combine the resources of lead government agencies the Department of
Conservation and the Ministry for Primary Industries to work in
partnership with local communities.
Four interim goals
for 2025 have been set for the project:
An additional 1 million hectares of land where pests have been supressed or removed
through Predator Free New Zealand partnerships.
Development of a
scientific breakthrough capable of removing at least one small
mammalian predator from New Zealand entirely.
of more than 20,000 hectares can be predator free without the use of
Complete removal of
all introduced predators from offshore island nature reserves.
The last goal of
course will be of particular interest to Great Barrier Island
residents, ratepayers and visitors.
From left: Steven Joyce, John Key and
Maggie Barrie at Zealandia on 25 July 2016 where the Prime Minister
announced the Government's goal of a Predator Free Zealand by 2050.
Zealandia was New Zealand’s first fenced predator-free sanctuary.
The announcement paves the way for fences such as this, and the one
at Glenfern Sanctuary, one day, to be pulled down.
Where is the money coming from?
The Government has
said it will look at contributing $1 of government funding to every
$2 of private sector and local government funding. It is also
setting aside $28 million over four years to set up the new Crown
Entity, Predator Free New Zealand. Currently, around $60-80 million
is spent by the Government on pest and predator control each year in
Predator Free New
Zealand would be responsible for identifying large, high-value
predator control projects and attracting co-investors to increase
their size and extent and implement them.
Banking on technology
The plan puts a lot
of weight on developing yet-to-exist technology and scientific
break-throughs to enable large scale removal of predators from rural
and urban area. No mention was made of funding for these
removal of all introduced predators from offshore island nature
Issue 36 Winter 2016
So many questions
While this week the
politicians on both sides of the house lap up the media attention a
bold announcement like this brings, there are, and will be many
questions to answer.
What role will
communities, iwi and other stakeholders play, and how will
priorities be set?
And what, if any,
are the plans for Aotea/Great Barrier Island, surely a priority for
the total eradication of predators?
So change is in the
air, and the seemingly impossible dream of the few now seems to have
been embraced by the many.
Glenfern from Port
FitzRoy wharf. Photo: Glenfern Sanctuary
FitzRoy from Glenfern Sanctuary. Photo: Glenfern Sanctuary
Photo: Glenfern Sanctuary
North Island Robin —
the first birds were released on Glenfern Sanctuary in 2005.
Photo: Glenfern Sanctuary