MPs welcome move to predator-free Taranaki
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.