Did you know?
Well, yes you probably did if you’re reading this newsletter because it’s the sort of thing you’re obviously interested in! But just in case you haven’t been paying attention, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry recently announced the Government’s bold target for New Zealand to be predator free by 2050. You can read her Fairfax Media opinion piece here:
In it she refers to the partnering of large philanthropic organisations such as the Next Foundation with DOC and Forest and Bird, and with community groups such as ourselves, in initiating eradication programmes and working together to achieve a predator free New Zealand. (The innovative self-setting traps that we purchased and installed earlier this year also get a mention.)
With this in mind, a small group of Seatoun residents recently met with Kelvin Hastie – a highly successful pest eradication crusader.
Kelvin, who is promoting Predator Free Wellington, kindly spent an evening telling us how he began his crusade in Crofton Downs and has since been rallying Wellington residents into making their own neighbourhood predator free. With eight suburbs having now used his approach the momentum in creating a predator free Wellington is well underway. Find out how it all started here:
There's also a podcast:
The approach is pretty straightforward. Community engagement. Distribution of low cost traps. Recording of catch. More community engagement. Experience to date shows that success in a suburb only requires one in five households to be involved and a noticeable impact can be made within weeks rather, than months or years.
Following on from Kelvin’s presentation, the MCT trustees met last week to discuss various matters, one of which was the Predator Free Wellington campaign and how, if at all, MCT could be involved.
The upshot from this discussion was that the trustees decided that MCT was ideally set up to drive the campaign on the Peninsula and that we would propose this to Kelvin; this has subsequently been agreed. The proposal is that MCT would initially focus on the Seatoun area and then work from there on progressing across the Peninsula.
Hamish Midgley and Deb Harwood have generously put up their hands to drive this programme and will be looking for assistance in its implementation. There is still much planning to do before this campaign is underway, and you will hear about it in due course.
In agreeing to support this campaign the trustees all feel that it is essential that MCT clearly separates the efforts and finances associated with its involvement in the Peninsula and the Rimutaka Forest trapping programme. This recognises that not all MCT supporters are domiciled on the Peninsula.
You'll be hearing more on this shortly.