Introduction

The Predator Free 2050 Ltd’s Board chair has welcomed the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report on saving New Zealand’s birds.

Board Chair Jane Taylor says she is heartened by the strong endorsement of New Zealand’s goal to rid New Zealand of possums, rats and stoats by 2050 in the commissioner’s Taonga of an island nation: Saving New Zealand’s birds report, released today. 

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

“The independent oversight provided by this report is welcomed and will be influential in shaping our strategy. 

“The report’s recommendations – which include sections on science, research and planning – are consistent with much of the company’s work to date and gives us confidence that we’re heading in the right direction. 

“The company manages $1 million per year of Crown investment for breakthrough scientific research on predator eradication and one of our jobs is to match this funding with $2 million from other sources. 

“We have already commissioned a draft science strategy to develop the breakthrough technology that the Government has acknowledged is necessary to achieve a predator-free New Zealand by 2050. We expect to make the strategy public later this year. 

“Another of our key responsibilities is to manage $5 million per year of Crown funding for large-scale collaborative predator control projects, based on the company leveraging this with funding from other sources. 

“We expect to announce our plans for identifying, selecting and funding large-scale predator control projects as the year progresses.” 

Chair Taylor says the Board will carefully consider the commissioner’s report over the coming weeks and assess where the company can further align with the report’s recommendations. 

More information on the Parliamentary Commissioner's website

Background information 

The Predator Free 2050 goal 

Predator Free 2050 is an ambitious programme launched in July 2016 to rid New Zealand of our most damaging introduced predators – possums, rats and stoats – by 2050. 

The aim is to protect our threatened native species and benefit our regional economies through primary industries and tourism. 

This New Zealand-wide goal will require new technologies and a co-ordinated team effort across communities, iwi, and the public and private sectors. 

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is the government agency responsible for facilitating the Predator Free 2050 programme. DOC established the Crown-owned company Predator Free 2050 Ltd in November 2016. 

Crown funding for Predator Free 2050 

The Crown has committed an extra $7 million per year of new money towards predator control and eradication. 

Predator Free 2050 Ltd will receive $6 million per year ($5 million plus $1 million) of this funding and will leverage it to attract additional investment from the private sector, philanthropists, and local government. 

When leveraged, the new Crown funding is expected to result in an extra $10 million of support annually for significant predator control over large areas of land, and an annual $3 million for breakthrough scientific research into predator control and eradication. 

Projects to improve current predator control tools and technology will receive $700,000 from the new funds and community support another $300,000. 

Currently, approximately $70m a year is spent on predator (possum, rat and stoat) control. Over the 34 years from 2016 to 2050, this totals approximately $2.4b. The new leveraged funding adds an additional investment in projects and research of approximately $600m, bringing the programme total to $3b over 34 years.

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