It goes without saying that all that glitters, at this pre-election juncture, is not gold.

However, every time a public official suit mentions the initiative "Predator Free 2050" I get a warm feeling in the belly.

The traditional voter cornerstones of health, wealth and education seem to drift off into the ether when I sit and watch the kereru pair that this time each year feed silently in the plum tree at the dining room window.

The green-cloaked couple, dangerously oblivious to the threat my species poses, let me get to within a metre before branch hopping to a safer distance.


It's true. The predator free goal is perhaps a tad aspirational. Many say it's more about predator suppression than outright eradication. That could well be the reality. But I'm still excited by the push.

And besides, it's not just about the end game - it's about the journey.

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry outlined the vision during a trip to Napier this weekend - and encouraged all to take part.

Essentially the programme is geared to rid New Zealand of three of our most destructive introduced predators - possums, rats and stoats.

The heartening news is the micro-projects already under way across the country. Locally, one such organisation is community group Pest Free Esk Hill who the minister presented with 20 predator traps, which will be deployed in local backyards.

Of course the domestic cat, perhaps the most destructive of them all, seems to have been left off the above list.

Cats are a much more complex issue to handle politically. There's endless emotion when talking about controlling this night-ruling mammal to a feline-loving country pre-election.

That's why, if our endemic and native bird population could vote, Gareth Morgan would be up in the polls.


Either way, should it play out the way this Government has couched it in 2050, and should there still be thump in my ticker, I'll be a predator free 78-year old.

That's a long time to pass for a more fulsome dawn chorus. Still, happy to wait for future birdsong to sound more like birdsong from the past; where sightings of urban kereru will outnumber sightings of domestic cats.