With the Hawke's Bay Regional Council and others in the region already working to keep pests numbers down, the announcement the Department of Conservation will make the Mahia Peninsula predator free means there will be three projects all dovetailing for the same aim.

About eight years ago the regional council joined up with four other partners to begin the Cape to City Project to reduce pest numbers.

"The Cape to City Project is a five year project between Cape Kidnappers and the Tukituki Valley. It is targeting ferrets, stoats, rats, hedgehogs and feral cats - as well as possums - over 26,000 hectares," a regional council spokeswoman said.

"A key element is assessing the use and efficiency of new technology to make pest control easier over large areas.


"This project is jointly funded over five years [until 2020] by a partnership between the Aotearoa Foundation, the Department of Conservation, Hawke's Bay Regional Council, Landcare Research and Cape Sanctuary (privately funded restoration project).
Hawke's Bay Regional Council is providing support and advisory services."

In addition, Predator Free 2050 would give New Zealand's native wildlife the chance to regain their abundance and return their mauri or life force, to our lands.

"Hawke's Bay Regional Council has been delivering regional biosecurity programmes for nearly 30 years, including large scale rabbit and possum control programmes. Possum numbers have been kept to low numbers through the PCA programme which began in 2000."

A Department of Conservation spokeswoman said in addition to the Cape to City project, there was also the Poutiri Ao ō Tāne ecological restoration project, meaning there were two large-scale, collaborative projects already in place that had been tackling predator control and restoring plants and wildlife in Hawke's Bay since 2014.

"They involve DoC, Hawke's Bay Regional Council, landowners and farmers, iwi, the Cape Sanctuary and Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research, along with funding support from the Aotearoa Foundation.

"Poutiri Ao ō Tāne has been running for four years. This project [8800ha] covers a variety of land uses and is located on the Maungaharuru Range, with Boundary Stream Mainland Island at its heart.

"Cape to City started in 2015 and covers 26,000ha that lie between Hastings and Cape Kidnappers, extending southwards to include Waimarama and forest remnants at Kahuranaki.

"The new funding from Predator Free 2050 Ltd., builds on these two existing projects, enabling scaling up across 700,000ha of the Hawke's Bay region to the Mahia Peninsula.

"The project is called the Predator Free Hawke's Bay Project and is led by Hawke's Bay Regional Council. It is integrated with the Regional Pest Management Plan, builds on strong community partnerships and anticipates future council commitments."