Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has welcomed two crucial appointments on the road to Predator Free 2050 and the implementation of the New Zealand Threatened Species Strategy.
“Experienced entrepreneur Ed Chignell is Predator Free 2050 Ltd’s new CEO. He has a proven track record as a whole-hearted leader with strong commercial and strategic nous, and the board is confident he has the commitment and the ability to develop the powerful strategic partnerships needed to make Predator Free 2050 a reality,” Ms Barry says.
“Eradicating rats, stoats and possums by 2050 will deliver massive benefits for our native species, our environment and the economy, and the work of the company and its board is crucial to the Predator Free 2050 programme.”
Predator Free 2050 Ltd receives a minimum $6 million of Crown funds annually and will leverage these funds to attract additional investment.
“On average an extra $10m or more will be invested annually into regionally significant landscape predator control and eradication projects, and around $3 million will be invested each year into breakthrough scientific research on eradicating predators,” Ms Barry says.
“The Board first met in January and now has a draft science strategy to develop the technology needed to achieve a predator-free New Zealand. It’s also developing a strategy for managing additional Crown funding for large, landscape-scale collaborative predator control projects.”
The Department of Conservation has also made a significant appointment, with introduction of the new senior role of Deputy Director-General for Biodiversity, whose responsibilities include development and implementation of the Threatened Species Strategy released in May.
“Martin Kessick has had a 17 year career with DOC and has been the Director of National Operations, including leading the Battle for our Birds programme and the development of the operational component of Predator Free 2050,” Ms Barry says.
“Protecting our biodiversity is at the heart of DOC and this new leadership role will focus on that important work. He will develop effective biodiversity protection plans and bring together the work that will deliver PF2050, as well as the recently released Threatened Species Strategy.
“I know he can't wait to get started in the job as a strong advocate for the many different kinds of plants and animals that exist in New Zealand and the work DOC does to protect them.”
Ed Chignell starts as PF 2050 Ltd CEO in August 2017. Martin Kessick starts on 3 July 2017.