PHOTO: Taranaki Regional Council

Long-term council commitment aims region-wide.

Taranaki Taku Tūranga -Towards Predator-Free Taranaki is a large-scale project aimed at restoring Taranaki’s unique wildlife and plants, while also protecting the region’s lifestyles and livelihoods by removing introduced predators.

Launched in 2018, the trailblazing project is using the latest trapping techniques, innovation, technology and engagement methods, sharing lessons learned as the country works towards its Predator Free 2050 target.

Led by Taranaki Regional Council, the region-wide project is working with residents, businesses, schools, iwi, hapū, environmental groups and communities to remove possums, rats and mustelids from urban, rural and public land around Taranaki Maunga. This complements the outstanding mahi being undertaken by DOC and the Taranaki Mounga Project within Te Papakura o Taranaki.

Towards Predator-Free Taranaki is building on the Taranaki community’s existing regional biodiversity protection work, which includes the Self-Help Possum Programme, Riparian Management Programme and working with landowners to support the protection of key native ecosystems within the region.

The project has had great success with possums eliminated from parts of the rural and urban land adjacent to the Kaitake ranges.

Q and A with the project, March 2024

What is the project most proud of?
Our Zero Possum project is very busy. We have achieved elimination of possums on almost 10,000 hectares of farmland.

What stage is your project at?
We are currently mopping up the last of the possums and beginning to install a self-reporting camera network to alert us of any incursions.

What’s next?
Once the cameras are in place, then it will be a case of interpreting existing data and informing our scat dog team of any incursions.

What tools have been most useful for your project?
Scat detection dogs, Brodifacoum, leg hold traps, TRAPNZ, Cameras, AT220s, ZIP technology used on the virtual barrier in Pukeiti park.

Launched May 18, 2018
PF2050Ltd investment $11m
Total project investment $47m
Funding commitment Five years
Project lead Taranaki Regional Council
Māori partners Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Ruanui, Taranaki, Te Ātiawa, Ngaa Rauru, Ngāruahine, Ngāti Tama
Collaborators Wild for Taranaki, Taranaki Mounga Project, New Plymouth District Council, Stratford District Council, South Taranaki District Council, Federated Farmers, Department of Conservation, Manaaki Whenua/ Landcare Research, Zero Invasive Predators.
Ambition 700,000 ha (after 10 years)
Design Phased removal of possums and protection from protection from reinvasion. Intensive rural mustelid and cat control plus rodent in urban and key natural areas.