Rats, stoats and mice in Rotorua's Eastside area are about to be tackled thanks to the delivery of more than 200 trap boxes, handmade by inmates at Springhill Prison.

Tatou Pounamu purchased the traps from the Good to Grow project - a partnership between the Department of Conservation and the Department of Corrections.

Tatou Pounamu – Predator Free representative Te Pae Akurangi-Fitzell said the group was looking forward to using the trap boxes to support the aspirations of Tatou Pounamu.

"Our aim is to have every household from the Puarenga Stream to the Waiohewa Stream trapping rats and other pests to become a predator-free community.


"The new trap boxes will be used to improve the conservation values in the Hannah's Bay Recreation Reserve. By trapping predators, we can enhance the biodiversity values within the wetland area and hopefully support Mokoia Island being a pest-free island too."

Tatou Pounamu is a collective of iwi, Government agencies and community groups working to make the Eastside community a "safe haven".

"We believe that a healthy whānau and healthy environment are one and the same. Getting rid of predators and cleaning up the whenua and waterways is a great start to connect out community to some of our beautiful taonga," Akurangi-Fitzell said.

Within 50 days of trapping, the volunteers removed 25 rats, 10 mice and two stoats from the area.

"It's been said that one rat can destroy 50 native birds in its lifetime so we've already saved 1250 native birds. With a bit of support from the community, we can have a really big impact and we'll see more birds in our backyards."

Volunteers wanting to support Tatou Pounamu – Predator Free can email pouao.tataupounamu@gmail.com. The group meet weekly to maintain the pest control network.