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Pest free Banks Peninsula support welcomed

Wednesday, August 12, 2020   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: biodiversity, funding

Selwyn District Council media release: 10th August 2020

A significant boost to the work to make Banks Peninsula pest free has been welcomed by Selwyn District Council.

Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage last week announced $5.11 million of funding for the Pest Free Banks Peninsula project.

The Council is among 14 organisations that have signed up and work together on the initiative.

Mayor Sam Broughton says the funding will create 15 new jobs and allow predator eradication over large parts of Kaitōrete and Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū/ Banks Peninsula, and restore native biodiversity.

“Making Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū pest free would be an important step on the road to being predator free by 2050 and will support our work to support native biodiversity to revive, thrive and spread in Selwyn and to eradicate pests,” he says. “The Pest Free Banks Peninsula/Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū is a great example of how the community, including tangata whenua and councils are working together to bring about huge positive changes and this funding is a big part in helping us to do this.”

The agreement was signed by the Predator Free 2050 Limited Acting CEO Prof Dan Tompkins and Chair of the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust Mark Christensen, on behalf of the organisations.

Christensen said: "In November 2018 we agreed to work together as landowners, community groups, iwi, councils and DOC so that our native plants, birds, animals and insects are flourishing on Banks Peninsula, free from the threats of introduced animal pests. Today, the realisation of this vision has taken a significant leap forward.”

The programme will focus on eradication of possums and suppression of mustelids, rats and feral cats to low levels.

Possum and goat numbers on Banks Peninsula have been reduced significantly in recent years and there are many well-established trapping programmes.

Pest control efforts by landowners on the south-east ‘Wildside’ area of Banks Peninsula have already contributed to the recovery of endangered populations of hōiho/yellow-eyed penguins, kororā/little blue penguins and tītī/sooty shearwater. Tūi have also been successfully reintroduced.

Local Ngāi Tahu rūnanga are also strongly engaged in the project and working with the community to restore these sites.

Get more information about Pest Free Banks Peninsula on the:

Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch