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Flight path enhanced for Predator Free Wellington

Predator Free Wellington was today given Wellington City Council approval to become a legally recognised charity. This will open up a wider range of funding opportunities and help secure the growth plan for the future.

Kereru at Otari Wilton’s Bush

Charitable status for Predator Free Wellington, a joint programme between Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and the NEXT Foundation, will enable the organisation to seek central government-administered Predator Free 2050 funding and attract private donors.

“There is considerable interest from philanthropic organisations and community-level donors and this change will make it easier for them to play a part creating the world’s first predator-free capital city,” said Mayor Justin Lester.

“This potential new funding will bolster the more than $1 million Wellington City Council has committed to Predator Free Wellington over the next five years,” he says.

The Predator Free Wellington movement started in 2015, when Crofton Downs resident Kelvin Hastie took the initiative to make his home suburb a predator-free zone.

The initiative now covers the Wellington city region.

Since the launch of Predator Free Wellington, 18 months ago, more than 10,000 people have begun backyard trapping, helping with the goal of completely eradicating possums, and mustelids (stoats and weasels) from their communities. These pests have the greatest impact on native biodiversity.

Predator Free Wellington supplies traps, provides technical expertise on best practice and helps build the capability of trapping groups through education.

Their first major initiative is to completely remove all rats and mustelids from the Miramar Peninsula (possums were eradicated from the peninsula in 2006), before focusing on making other Wellington suburbs predator free.

The peninsula area is geographically well positioned to attempt a rat and stoat eradication as it can be defended from reinvasion (Cobham Drive and the airport runway act as a barrier).

Predator Free Seatoun, Predator Free Miramar and other community groups are already trapping there and the Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council have worked with a number of these groups to continue and extend pest control across all of the existing reserves.

Find out more at the Predator Free Wellington website.