Significant increase in residents support for Predator Free Wellington

5 April 2019

Wellington residents are right behind the Predator Free Wellington project, and more people are rolling up their sleeves to get involved.

Tui on a flax branch.

A massive 92% of Wellingtonians said they support the project, this is significantly more than 84% when we last surveyed in 2017. Over one thousand people completed the survey (1008) from a demographically representative panel, as well as Wellington residents who opted-in to the survey.

Predator Free Wellington Portfolio leader Councillor Andy Foster says “Wellingtonians are increasingly involved in hands on restoration work and  70% of survey respondents are currently actively involved in controlling predators in their backyards or in reserves, or have done some predator control in the past”

“Checking a trap, and enjoying tui or kākā in your backyard are now a regular part of life in Wellington” Councillor Foster said.

Survey respondents' reasons for being involved in controlling predators varied, however most people wanted to protect native species and also people just don’t like having predators on their land due to the damage they cause to property and the diseases they can carry.

Predator Free Wellington Project Director James Willcocks says "This is fantastic feedback from Wellingtonians and reinforces what we are hearing from people and their desire to live in a city where our amazing native species can flourish without rats, possums, stoats and weasels.

“It is incredible to see so many Wellingtonians stepping up to define the type of city they want to live in by getting involved in all sorts of ways and it’s really encouraging to hear that even more people are wanting to contribute." 

Predator Free Wellington is an ambitious project which aims to increase native wildlife by making Wellington City free of rats, possums, stoats and weasels.

The first phase of the project is to eradicate rats, stoats and weasels from Miramar Peninsula before extending throughout the city. The Miramar Peninsula was chosen as the initial area of focus as it has been possum free since 2006. As a peninsula it is more defendable from predator reinvasion. While work proceeds in Miramar, Predator Free Wellington will continue to support backyard trapping across the city and the other ways people can get involved. Wellington City Council is supporting a large number community groups trapping predators across its reserve network.

The project is a partnership between Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Counci, mana whenua and the NEXT Foundation. It is also supported by central government’s Predator Free 2050 initiative.