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Predator Free 2050 Farewells Outgoing CEO, Names Interim Replacement

Predator Free 2050 Ltd has appointed Brett Butland acting Chief Executive while it begins its search to replace Abbie Reynolds, who finishes up with the company this week.

Acting Chair David MacLeod said the Board was proud of Abbie’s contribution to and leadership of the Predator Free mission.

"Abbie’s relentless enthusiasm for conservation and pest eradication has been infectious for all of us. She took the reins as CEO at a time of huge uncertainty for both us and the whole country thanks to Covid, and has worked tirelessly to drive new landscape and research projects and improve our community relationships," Mr MacLeod said.

"Abbie set out to listen and learn from the communities we work with to make sure we act as a genuine partner in the projects we support, not merely a service contractor. As a result, we now work in a way that is in service to the iwi, hapū, communities, businesses, landowners, philanthropists and Councils who are doing the work to eradicate stoats, rats and possums across Aotearoa.

"The Predator Free team and our supporters are sad to see Abbie go, but we have no doubt that we will cross paths again given her ongoing commitment to protecting Aotearoa’s biodiversity. We wish her all the best for the future."

Some of the highlights over the past year include:

-Contracting 14 new landscape projects, bringing the total to 20, three of which are iwi-led, covering more than 800,000 hectares in total

-Supporting projects to make meaningful differences in their communities through employment and learning additional skills. For example, working with the Korehāhā Whakahau project to improve the life skills of Whakatāne rangatahi by helping them get their driver’s licenses as part of their project work

-Bringing to market five new tools for predator managers supported by ‘Products to Projects’ Provincial Growth Funding

-The publication of predator control Data Standards, the first step to everyone involved in Predator Free sharing their data and coordinating their efforts

-The publication of our new Research Strategy, driving to achieve multiple scientific breakthroughs that will step-change landscape-scale predator eradication by 2025

-Supporting six early-career researchers to develop the new science capability that New Zealand needs to achieve these breakthroughs, through Jobs for Nature funding

-Collaborating on funding Fight for the Wild documentary to increase public awareness.

Mr MacLeod said the appointment of Brett Butland as interim CEO would ensure a smooth transition to new permanent leadership.

"Brett has been with us as Senior Project Support Manager since October 2020 and in that role has been involved in everything we do. We look forward to working with him to help lead us as we get set to announce a series of new projects in what is shaping up to be a busy 2021."

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