Plan and money for pest eradication in Taranaki

A major project aimed at eradicating pests from Taranaki has been announced.

$11.7 million for Taranaki predator control

An ambitious plan to eradicate pests from Taranaki will get an $11.7 million funding injection from Predator Free 2050 Ltd, Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage announced today.

Taranaki Taku Tūranga – a region-wide collaboration between Taranaki Regional Council and rural landowners, aims to eradicate introduced predators from native habitats.

The project starts near New Plymouth and will be progressively rolled out across 4,500 hectares of farmland surrounding the Taranaki/Egmont National Park.

The area will be defended from re-infestation by a ‘virtual barrier’ created by a network of intensive trapping.

“Government funding of $11.7 million invested via Predator Free 2050 Ltd into Taranaki Taku Tūranga, aims to suppress or eradicate rats, stoats and possums in the area so our native birds and other wildlife can thrive.

“This funding is being matched by local government and other funders at a ratio of more than three to one, with a total project budget of $47 million over five years.”

PF2050 Ltd is a government-owned charitable company established to support co-funding arrangements to help expand and upscale predator control operations. It aims to work towards a predator free New Zealand by 2050.

“New Zealand has a predator crisis – 82 percent of native birds are threatened with, or at risk of extinction. We must invest in a comprehensive programme of predator control initiatives, to save Aotearoa’s indigenous wildlife,” said Eugenie Sage.

“Taranaki Taku Tūranga will build on significant predator control work already being undertaken by the Taranaki Mounga Project – a large scale ecological restoration collaboration between Department of Conservation, eight Taranaki iwi, the NEXT Foundation and other sponsors, covering the 34,000 ha of the national park,” said Eugenie Sage.

In late 2017, PF2050 Ltd issued a request for expressions of interest in collaborative landscape-scale predator control projects. Forty-five groups, representing six percent of New Zealand’s land area, expressed interest.

In addition to the funding being provided by Predator Free 2050 Ltd, Budget 2018 provided an extra $81.3 million in new funding to the Department of Conservation (DOC) for landscape scale predator control as part of an extra $181.6 million in operational funding for DOC over the next four years. That funding allows DOC to plan ahead and target the pests that are devastating the habitats of New Zealand’s unique species.

More details:  Taranaki Taku Tūranga – Towards a Predator-Free Taranaki

Predator Free 2050 was set up in 2016 by the National Government when they initiated a goal of making New Zealand predator free by 2050:

Predator Free 2050 Limited is responsible for directing a significant amount of Crown investment into the Predator Free Programme, with a focus on breakthrough science and large scale predator control and eradication initiatives.

Predator Free 2050 Limited was formed in 30 November 2016 by the New Zealand Government via the Department of Conservation to realise New Zealand’s Predator Free 2050 goal.

The company invests around $5 million per year in large landscape projects and scientific research, and leverages new funding to rid New Zealand of the possums, rats and stoats which threaten its unique fauna and flora.

Its current science strategy is focussed on achieving interim goals for 2025.

Predator Free 2050 Limited works closely with other parties in the Predator Free 2050 movement, including tangata whenua, the Department of Conservation, the Predator Free New Zealand TrustNew Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science ChallengeZero Invasive Predators LtdSanctuaries of New Zealand, regional councils and community groups.

It is good to see this continued by the new Government. It is a very ambitious plan for the country, as it is for Taranaki, which borders other areas that will leak predators into Taranaki unless they are controlled or eradicated as well.

Leave a comment


  1. Grimm

     /  31st May 2018

    Most locals would just be happy to keep Eugenie Sage out of Taranaki.

  2. PartisanZ

     /  31st May 2018

    Whether it dovetails with other socially desirable outcomes, such as increased employment and improved environmental management – water, flora, fauna – depends more-or-less entirely on HOW it is done.

    If there’s a heavy reliance on 1080 poison and expensive, consumerable-dependent mechanical trapping … then I’m not so sure …

    Predator Free 2050 seems like a very desirable goal … but is it realistic? And is it achievable? And what other important aspects of ‘greater’ environmental protection – including the eco-nomy – might be missing out?

    Like pest & disease control at the border …?

  3. Gezza

     /  31st May 2018

    I’m from Taranaki, so it might work because people from Taranaki generally have a few clues.

    Go the Naki ! I reckon you’ll struggle to eradicate em all but it’s a beautiful place with the most native ngahere in the country according to 1ewes. Big ups, good on yous for trying & hope you succeed. 😎

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  31st May 2018

    If you want to control predators you will need to privatise the DoC estate. DoC is useless at predator control. It only works on private land where people live and care about their environment.

    • Gezza

       /  31st May 2018

      That’s why they’re targeting the farmers up there.

    • Pickled Possum

       /  31st May 2018

      So true Al I remember 20 years ago 18 or more people in the huts of the NZ
      native bush trapping shooting and poisoning possums for a great deal of money.
      Before that paid possum and rabbit hunters paid by DoC.
      Every tail brought out equalled money.

      We are controlling the pig’s possums and rats on our property.
      So they don’t eat our food and or wreck our trees by rooting up the roots.
      They have got enuff in the bush to munch on, as it is.

      DoC is just another waste of money IMHO.
      You have to pay a fee for a small game hunting permit, payable to DoC.
      Most of the provincial offices have been closed down now.
      Doesn’t stop them from having ‘awards’ ceremonies with copious
      amounts of ‘good’ food and wine at their gatherings.
      FAKES each and every one of them.

      Pest Eradication is an emotive subject cause no one wants the furry
      little pesks in their backyard but so many are loathe to do much about it.
      as Bill says …Much ado about nothing.

    • PartisanZ

       /  31st May 2018

      @Alan – ” … privatise the DoC estate”?

      How do you propose this would be done?

      I read in today’s Northland Age under ‘Te Rerenga Wairua a hit’ –

      “an estimated 3.9 million New Zealanders, 80% of the population, visit public conservation land & water at least once a year, while a record 1.75 million (52%) of international tourists visited a national park in the year ending March, up 55% on the previous year”

      How might we go about ‘privatizing’ that?

      How, for instance, in arguing FOR the privatization of the Conservation Estate, would you simultaneously argue AGAINST Maori preventing access to the Foreshore & Seabed through Maori land?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  31st May 2018

        Given the will, ways could be found. Dedicated trusts or businesses with suitable covenants securing public access and rights where appropriate. Same could be done for F&S.

        • Fight4NZ

           /  2nd June 2018

          Really reaching into the back of the cupboard to dust off the ancient myths on this one.

  5. Pickled Possum

     /  31st May 2018

    the Shakespearean farce writer … Bill


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