Predator Free NZ Workshop Inspirational

A Predator Free 2050 community group evening was well attended on 30 January 2019. Around 45 people came along to the Education Centre and listened to some very interesting speakers – the evening was organised by Environment Southland and DOC.

First speakers were two Otago University Students researching pest issues on braided rivers and in the alpine region. This was followed by food and drink and networking and then Ed Chignell Chief Exec of Predator Free 2050 Limited - gave a presentation.

Ed outlined the landscape scale projects that had been funded around the country to date - Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington, Waiheke and Dunedin and shared some amazing videos of those projects. The videos can be viewed at

Following on was Rhys Millar from Predator Free Dunedin who gave a positive but honest talk on the process of getting such a project off the ground and the steps involved in joining many individual projects together into a landscape wide project – including setting up a new overarching Charitable Trust, fundraising, getting collaborators and the actual work on the ground. Lots of food for thought. To complete the night Willy Gamble from Stewart Island Restoration Charitable Trust (SIRCET) showed all the good work that group are doing to free Stewart Island of animal and plant pests and the technology they are using to log catches and track weeds. In typical Willy style he introduced quite a bit of humour into his talk, including some fascinating statistics from Pokemon! (see photo below).

Earlier in the day the speakers had addressed the Southland Predator Free forum organised by DOC and Venture Southland. At that meeting Ed ad Rhys gave talks with the addition of Al Bramley of Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP) who spoke about the new technologies and current learnings, which were fascinating.

Well done DOC, Environment Southland and Venture Southland for bringing the speakers to Southland.

Chris, Southland Community Nursery