An ambitious, shared vision.
Pest Free Banks Peninsula/Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū is a collaborative programme to protect and enhance biodiversity on the Peninsula through the widespread eradication of animal pests. This community-led initiative has been formalised through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by 14 foundation signatories in November 2018.
It aims to make Banks Peninsula free of pest animals, so the indigenous biodiversity can thrive and become more widespread across the Peninsula and into Christchurch City.
The initial focus is spread across two distinct operational areas, work is progressing on the removal of possums and suppression of mustelids, rats and feral cats to low levels on the Extended Wildside and the elimination of hedgehogs, mustelids, possums &, feral cats on Kaitorete spit. Building on many well-established trapping programmes and previous work that has reduced possum and goat numbers on Banks Peninsula in previous years.
The project will benefit species like the threatened jewelled gecko and enable continued recovery of populations of hōiho/yellow-eyed penguins, kororā/little blue penguins, tītī/sooty shearwater and reintroduced tūi.
Significant planning and preparation for the upcoming operations has been undertaken, including cutting 40+ km of tracks in Misty Peaks council reserve and Hinewai Reserve (private trust) and working with landowners on the MusCat programme. The elimination has started on Kaitorete with trapping in the first sector underway buffered by a community lead trapping programme at Taumutu.
Pest Free Banks Peninsula supports Ngāi Tahu values, community development, and sustainable agriculture and tourism.
|Launched||August 9, 2020|
|Total project investment||$10.15m|
|Funding commitment||5 years|
|Project lead||Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust|
|Māori partners||Ngāi Tahu rūnanga (Ōnuku Rūnanga, Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke (Rāpaki) Rūnanga, Te Taumutu Rūnanga, Wairewa Rūnanga, Te Rūnanga o Koukourarata)|
|Collaborators||Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust, Department of Conservation, Christchurch City Council, Selwyn District Council, Summit Road Society, Living Springs and the Cacophony Project|
|Ambition||Ultimately predator free 110,000ha Banks Peninsula.|
|Design||Possum removal from 23,000 ha Wildside area with suppression of mustelids, and feral cats to low levels and removal of Hedgehogs, Mustelids, Possums and Feral Cats across 5,500ha Kaitōrete spit|