Jobs for Nature to expand Predator Free Wellington

Predator Free Wellington is expected to be achieved much more quickly, thanks to a major funding boost announced today by Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage.

“This $7.6 million investment, as part of the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme, is expected to create 42 new jobs and will enable native plants and wildlife to thrive in Wellington,” said Eugenie Sage.

Government company, Predator Free 2050 Limited will provide an extra $7.6 million to Predator Free Wellington. This matches similar investment over the next five years by Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and the NEXT Foundation.

“This investment will supercharge the incredible amount of work by volunteer groups who have been out in force around the city encouraging backyard trapping and returning birdsong to the city,” said Eugenie Sage.

“This is great news for a nature-loving city, enjoying the bounce-back of native species such as kākā and kākariki, tūī and tieke, some spilling out from Zealandia Sanctuary.

“The project will repeat the methods used on Miramar Peninsula over the past year to remove rats, stoats and weasels. The next stage of control will be done across 19 suburbs - from Kilbirnie around to Island Bay and through to the CBD, home to approximately 60,000 people.

“Wellingtonians have shown strong support for the Predator Free Wellington project, with 92% of surveyed residents saying they are behind the effort, 70% of them already involved in backyard trapping” said Eugenie Sage.

The new investment enables traps and bait stations to be established on a comprehensive grid pattern to maximise the likelihood that every target pest in the area will encounter them.

Teams of community liaison and field staff will be recruited, trained and managed as part of the project, helping create jobs to off-set jobs lost through the COVID-19 economic slow-down.

Over five years additional phases of control work will be done from Wellington Port via Zealandia to Te Kopahou, from Kaiwharawhara to Makara, then north to the city boundary at Porirua.

Further information

Predator Free Wellington is a charitable company supported by Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Council and the NEXT Foundation. It received initial funding of $3.725 million from Predator Free 2050 Limited in August 2018. Its vision is to create the world’s first predator free capital city where communities and native biodiversity thrive.  See www.pfw.org.nz.

Predator Free 2050 Limited is a Crown-owned charitable company set up to facilitate co-funding of ambitious large landscape predator free projects and the breakthrough science and product developments needed to underpin them. It is currently co-funding 10 large landscape projects and received $76 million of additional funding in Budget 2020 as part of the Jobs for Nature programme. See www.pf2050.co.nz.

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