Details of a bold programme to make Auckland predator and pest free by 2050 have been unveiled.
The announcement by Auckland Council Environment and Community Committee Chair Penny Hulse was made at Auckland’s first Pestival – an event which celebrates the role of community groups and volunteers in eradicating pests and protecting the environment.
Eradicating pests across Auckland
Penny Hulse says Pest Free Auckland 2050 is an all-of-Auckland opportunity that the council will start rolling out this year.
“Together, we can expand pest eradication and restoration activities across Auckland – on our islands and peninsulas, in our sanctuaries and through an increasing number of pest-free corridors, eventually connecting and merging these areas to achieve a pest-free Auckland,” says Councillor Hulse.
“We should not underestimate the challenge or the opportunity here. The government aims to make New Zealand Predator free by 2050. I know Auckland can go one better.”
“What we have achieved so far is the creation of stunningly successful sanctuaries across Auckland. But what we are proposing is a whole new level.”
“Pest Free Auckland 2050 will enable community-led conservation, facilitated by Auckland Council, to eradicate invasive ecosystems – transforming plants, animals and pathogens and restoring Auckland’s native ecosystems.”
“The key to its success will be partnerships between community groups, mana whenua, landowners and schools, council and local boards, DOC and the private and philanthropic sectors.”
“The focus, to begin with, will be on our islands and peninsulas – places with defendable geographies – as well as open sanctuaries and corridors,” says Cr Hulse
Auckland council’s contribution to Pest Free Auckland 2050 will include three components:
- Building the capacity and capability of community groups, iwi and landowners to implement conservation action at home, in schools and in parks.
- Showcasing community action and celebrating success, capturing, monitoring and communicating conservation activities and Auckland-wide trends.
- Delivering great conservation outcomes in local and regional parks and along road corridors.
Auckland Council already supports more than 400 community groups as well as landowners
“If Aucklanders work together, to eradicate pests and predators, we can bring the bird-song back, not just to our sanctuaries, but to our streets and backyards,” says Cr Hulse.
“I am hopeful in a few short years collectively we can make significant progress on making some of the most built up areas of suburban Auckland pest and predator free.”
More details, including which areas will be targeted as part of Pest Free Auckland 2050, will be announced over the coming months.