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Wellington’s commitment to Predator Free welcomed

Hon Maggie Barry

Minister of Conservation
26 September 2016

Wellington’s commitment to Predator Free welcomed

Wellington’s ambitious plan to become the first predator-free city in the country has been welcomed by Conservation Minister Maggie Barry.

With support from the NEXT Foundation, Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council have committed to eradicating rats, stoats and possums from the city, tying in with the Government’s Predator Free 2050 goal announced earlier this year.

Ms Barry launched the new partnership together with Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, GWRC Chair Chris Laidlaw and Devon McLean of NEXT at Otari-Wilton’s Bush this afternoon.

“Wellington has been leading the way in community predator control projects through the work of people like Kelvin Hastie in Crofton Downs and today’s announcement promises to take that work to the next level,” Ms Barry says.

“Returning kiwi and our other iconic bird species to our capital may once have been a fantasy but we know we have the tools, know-how and commitment to achieve it.

“I commend the two councils, NEXT and everyone else involved in this project for their commitment to supporting this vision.”

Through the partnership a plan to eradicate rats and stoats from the Miramar Peninsula, which was declared possum-free in 2006, will be developed along with plans to expand across the entire city and a focus on community engagement with the project.

“I’m very pleased Kelvin Hastie has agreed to become NEXT’s Predator Free Community Champion and will be taking his determination and enthusiasm to other parts of the capital and across the country,” Ms Barry says.

“It’s only by working together that we will achieve Predator Free 2050 – to see local authorities collaborating with NEXT and the community is a testament to the way Sir Paul Callaghan’s Predator Free vision has inspired the nation.

“It is a good example of the mixed funding projects the Government will encourage through our $28 million initial investment in Predator Free 2050.

Predator Free 2050 Ltd, the Crown-owned company which will sponsor community partnerships and large-scale pest eradication efforts, will be established with a board before Christmas and operating from early next year.

For more information on Predator Free New Zealand visit www.doc.govt.nz/our-work/predator-free-new-zealand-2050/


ends

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