Rakitū Island declared latest predator free island

Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today declared Rakitū Island, off the coast of Aotea/Great Barrier Island, predator free.

“I’m delighted to announce that with rats now gone, Rakitū is officially predator free. This is a major milestone because Rakitū is the last DOC administered island in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park to be made pest-free,” said Eugenie Sage.   

“Rakitū will now join more than 40 existing pest-free islands in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, including Rangitoto, Motutapu, Motuihe, Tiritiri Matangi and Hauturu/ Little Barrier Island. These pest-free islands provide a safe haven for threatened native wildlife including takahē, kākāpō, kokako, kiwi, geckos, skinks, bats, wetāpunga and tuatara.

“Rakitū represents another step towards a Predator Free Aotearoa New Zealand. The recovery of breeding populations of threatened species on these taonga offshore islands, provides an invaluable lesson in how we might restore native plants and wildlife on mainland sites once introduced pests have been removed,” said Eugenie Sage.

Background information:

  • Rakitū had thriving breeding colonies of native birds, particularly seabirds, before rats were introduced to the island. Kakariki, ōi/ grey-faced petrel, pōpokotea/whitehead, korimako/bellbird, toitoi/North Island tomtit and pīhoiho/New Zealand pipit once bred on the 330 hectare Island
  • Covering 330 ha, Rakitū's sheer cliffs rise 180 meters from the sea in places, giving it an imposing fortress-like appearance. Rakitū Island became a Scenic Reserve in 1994 after being purchased by DOC, with Natural Heritage Fund assistance, from the Rope family.
  • North Island weka on Rakitū are abundant and not indigenous to the island. They were released on the island in 1951, 36 years before DOC was established when the North Island weka population on mainland North Island was declining. Today, the North Island weka population is increasing.
  • More than 60 weka were removed for the rat eradication then returned to Rakitū 5 months later.

Latest Conservation Announcements

Story

Greens call for more protection of native whitebait species at risk of extinction

The Green Party is pleased to see new whitebaiting measures, announced today, to establish a more consistent management regime across the country, ...
Read More

Story

Greens urge Government to stick to no new mines commitment in stewardship land review and reclassification

The Green Party is urging the Government to stick with its 2017 commitment to no new mines on public conservation land, as the Government speeds up...
Read More

Story

Seaweek 2021: Green Party call on Fisheries NZ and DOC to do better to stop by-kill of our precious NZ seabirds

The Green Party can reveal that in 2019/2020, more seabirds were reported as killed by fishing than the previous four years.
Read More

Story

Green Party commits to stronger urban tree protection and no new mines on public conservation land

The Green Party is the only party in Parliament which is explicitly committing to protecting public conservation land and the indigenous plants and...
Read More

Story

Green Party releases tourism policy

Today the Green Party’s conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage went kayaking on Akaroa Harbour to highlight the greater protection achieved for Hec...
Read More

Story

Greens would go further and faster for kauri protection

The Green Party says Labour’s commitment to protecting kauri is a good start, but the Greens would go further and faster to keep our kauri standing.
Read More