MPs wel­come move to preda­tor-free Taranaki

Te Awamutu Courier - - News -

Na­tional’s Taranaki MPs Jonathan Young, Bar­bara Kuriger and Harete Hi­pango wel­come last week’s an­nounce­ment that Taranaki aims to be the first preda­tor­free re­gion in the coun­try.

Preda­tor-Free 2050 was launched by Na­tional in 2016 with an am­bi­tious goal of pro­tect­ing New Zealand’s unique plants and an­i­mals by erad­i­cat­ing rats, stoats, and pos­sums from New Zealand by 2050. Preda­tor-Free Taranaki is the first largescale project.

“Since Na­tional launched Preda­tor-Free NZ in 2016 there has been huge en­thu­si­asm from com­mu­ni­ties up and down the coun­try,” says Jonathan.

“In­tro­duced pests threaten our bird species, our econ­omy and our pri­mary sec­tor, with their to­tal eco­nomic cost es­ti­mated at around $3.3 bil­lion a year.

“That’s why we all need to work to­gether to rid New Zealand of rats, stoats and pos­sums,” says Bar­bara.

“I’m de­lighted that Taranaki is first. Our re­gion has a com­pact ge­og­ra­phy, strong lo­cal ex­per­tise in pest con­trol and a groundswell of com­mu­nity and lo­cal sup­port for the project. All this means is we are well placed to see success”.

“The lo­cal Taranaki iwi and hapu¯ with the lo­cal Taranaki com­mu­ni­ties un­doubt­edly em­brace this op­por­tu­nity to en­hance the wel­fare of their nat­u­ral en­vi­rons pro­tect­ing and car­ing in a kaiti­ak­i­tanga re­la­tion­ship,” says Harete.

Preda­tor-Free Taranaki will cost $47 mil­lion in the first five years to re­move stoats, rats, and pos­sums from across the re­gion — farm­land, ur­ban land, public parks, re­serves and Mt Taranaki.

It is the first time this has been at­tempted in New Zealand, and the lat­est tech­nol­ogy and trap­ping tech­niques will used.

“Preda­tor Free 2050 is our very best op­por­tu­nity to pro­tect our unique birds and an­i­mals for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions,” says Bar­bara.

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