News | 14 May 2018

Wellington Mayor backs Government’s spending increase for predator control

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester is thrilled with the news the Department of Conservation is getting a budget boost for pest control work.

Photo of a tui on a kowhai branch.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage says that in next week’s Budget DOC will get an extra $81.3 million over four years for predator control.

The announcement was made this morning at Wellington’s Otari-Wilton’s Bush, which Ms Sage said was an example of the thriving native bush that could be achieved with such work.

Wellington is aiming to become the world’s first predator-free capital, the Mayor says.

The boost to DOC funding will be spread around the country, but the Mayor supported the increased war chest for the battle against possums, stoats, rats and mice, which would indirectly help the city’s efforts.

“Wellington wants to become predator-free because of the benefits it will bring and it’s great to see the government also committing more to the cause,” the Mayor says.

“Twenty-five years ago Wellington was on the cusp of losing native birds in the city. However, the restoration of native bird populations shows what can be achieved with a concerted effort.”