Pest Free Auckland 2050 is coming

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 attended by 400 Aucklanders celebrating the role of community groups and volunteers in eradicating pests and protecting the environment.

Penny Hulse says Free Auckland 2050 is an all-of-Auckland opportunity which 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, the 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 Councillor Hulse.

Auckland Council’s contribution to Pest Free Auckland 2050 will include three concurrent 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 Councillor Hulse.

“I am hopeful that 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 of which areas will be targetted as part of Pest Free Auckland 2050 and when will be announced in the coming weeks and months.

ENDS 

 

- Auckland Council