Since Predator Free Wellington’s launch 18 months ago, more than 10,000 people have come on board with backyard trapping and helping with the mission to make Wellington New Zealand’s first predator free city and the world’s first predator free capital city.
Mayor Justin Lester says establishing the charitable organisation will pave the way for attracting external funding and further enabling philanthropy.
“There is considerable interest from philanthropic organisations and community-level donors and this change will make it easier for them to play a part creating the world’s first predator-free capital city.
“This potential new funding will bolster the more than $1 million Wellington City Council has committed to Predator Free Wellington over the next five years,” he says.
Alongside attracting private donors, the shift to charitable status will enable Predator Free Wellington Ltd to seek central government-administered Predator Free 2050 funding.
Councillor Andy Foster says the flow on effects of Predator Free Wellington becoming a charity are multifaceted.
“More funding means fewer pests, more native birds, and a healthier ecosystem. This is very valuable for a city that’s largely defined by its natural environment.
“There are also the social benefits we get from having well-connected communities working together for a common cause through local predator-free trapping groups,” he says.
Possums were eradicated from the Miramar Peninsula in 2006. Predator Free Wellington now plans to completely remove all rats and mustelids on the Miramar Peninsular before focusing on making other Wellington suburbs predator free.
Predator Free Wellington is a joint programme between Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and the NEXT Foundation.