Image: David Cook Wildlife Photography | ©

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


Launching the Predator Free 2050 Strategy - ‘Towards a Predator Free New Zealand is a major step forward to save thousands of threatened native species and give nature a helping hand, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage said this morning.

Date:  09 March 2020 Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation

“Without a plan, a Predator Free Aotearoa is only a dream. This strategy will help us go further and faster to give nature a helping hand and save more than 4000 of our native plants and wildlife that are threatened or at risk of extinction,” says Eugenie Sage.

“To do this we need to permanently eradicate their biggest threat: rats, mustelids like stoats and possums.”

“The Strategy, launched today, sets out a structure to achieve the Predator Free goal in the next 30 years, and the action plan describes what we need to do over the next five years.”

The Strategy has three key phases of work “Mobilise, Innovate and Accelerate”

  • Mobilise - to engage people and resources
  • Innovate - create or improve predator eradication tools and methods for across rural, urban and natural landscapes, and
  • Accelerate – rapidly deploy and effectively manage predators throughout the country. 

“The Predator Free 2050 Strategy was developed by DOC in consultation with iwi, and with input from technical experts, scientists, environmental groups, communities and the public. It draws from matauranga Māori, derived from generations of interactions between people and te taiao, and expertise gained through decades of successfully removing pests from 117 of New Zealand’s offshore islands,” she said.

“Predator Free 2050 is a world first – there is no map to guide us, and it is an iterative process. The Strategy values learning by doing from large landscape scale projects such as are happening with Tiakina Nga Manu, on offshore islands, on Taranaki  Maunga, in Hawke’s Bay, and in the Mackenzie Basin through Te Manahuna Aoraki. It involves changing what we do as we learn more and improve existing tools and methods.

“We have a biodiversity crisis around the world and in New Zealand. In 2018, this Government delivered the biggest boost to DOC funding since 2002 – which enabled DOC to undertake its biggest ever predator control programme ‘Tiakina Ngā Manu’ over more than 800,000 ha. of conservation land to ensure our unique native birds can thrive.

In 2018, the Government approved $81.28 million over four years to suppress predators in specific areas, protect and increase biodiversity on offshore islands, and develop better predator control methods and tools.

In 2019, through the Provincial Growth Fund, the Government invested a further $16 million in Predator Free 2050 Limited to expand predator control in regional New Zealand, and a further $3.5 million to fund development of new products which reduce the need for repeated 1080 use.

“New Zealand now has 117 islands which have been declared predator free, thanks to committed work by conservation staff, scientists, and support from philanthropic organisations and volunteers. With 2019 the most successful breeding season for kākāpō ever, it is important to develop more safe, predator free areas as homes for kākāpō and to enable so many other of Aoteroa’s unique birds, insects, wildlife and plants to thrive.

“A future Aotearoa, flourishing with abundant native wildlife and forests, is the bold vision that has galvanized thousands of New Zealanders to get stuck in and work towards a Predator Free New Zealand by 2050.

“Not everyone can roll up their sleeves and get involved on the ground doing the predator trapping or aerial control but everyone can support healthy indigenous nature by recognising the need to control and eradicate pests such as possum, stoats and rats,” Eugenie Sage said.

Background info

The Budget 2018 funding allows predator control on an extra 600,000 ha of public conservation land each year, compared with the approximately 200,000 ha per year that DOC previously had ongoing funding for. Undertaking predator control on 800,000 ha of land each year will result in 1.85 million ha of land where predators are suppressed on an ongoing basis.

Increasing DOC’s capability and capacity for front and centre of conservation work, working alongside iwi, councils, community organisations and committed individuals and philanthropic investors, is enabling greater efficiencies through multi-year planning and contracting with suppliers, and a more integrated approach to predator control.

From the three key phases of work “Mobilise, Innovate and Accelerate”, the strategy then breaks these phases down into logical workstreams, establishes inter-agency collaborative groups, describes the system to maintain and maps the actions that are required to get us to PF2050.

Six key pathways will help us address key challenges:

  1. Mā nga whanau, hapū, iwi e whakatau I tō rātou kaitiakitanga
    Whānau, hapū and iwi expressing kaitiakitanga
  2. Me whakaohoho me whakamanahia i ngā hapori ki te mahi i te mahi
    Communities taking action
  3. Whakatinanatia I ngā ture mō ngā momo kaupapa here
    Supporting the kaupapa through legislation and policy
  4. Mātauranga, mahi auaha, whakapai
    Advancing our knowledge, innovation and improvement
  5. He aronui, he aromataiwaitia, he aromātai te rerekētanga
    Measuring and assessing the difference we make
  6. Toitū te mahi haepapa kīrearea
    Moving from sustained predator control to eradication


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Email: media@doc.govt.nz

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