Sunrise over the Ruggedy Ranges Stewart Island.Rakiura Photo Jake Osborne CC BY NC SA 2.0

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

This is large, complex project and it will take time! 

We have many questions to work through. 

If you have a question we have not answered below, please contact us.

How long will it take to achieve a Predator Free Rakiura and how much will it cost?

At this point the potential cost and length of the project is unknown. The Predator Free Rakiura Group is working to identify answers to both of these questions. A project of this scale and complexity is unchartered territory. Feasibility work will give clarity around estimated costs and timelines.

How can I participate?

We need your help to make a Predator Free Rakiura possible, whether that is by helping remove the predators, making sure you are not bringing predators to the island, donating time or money or being a vocal supporter when it really counts. Some ideas for how you can help to create a Predator Free Rakiura or participate in predator control and biosecurity work currently underway:

  • Control predators on your property or vessel
  • Be a responsible pet owner - such as neutering, microchipping and being-in-at-night for pet cats and Kiwi Avoidance Training for dogs
  • Volunteer with or donate to a conservation group. Consider Bluff Hill/Motupohue Environment TrustStewart Island / Rakiura Community & Environment Trust (SIRCET) and Mamaku Point
  • Consider a research project that works through the knowledge gaps or barriers for Predator Free Rakiura
  • Rakiura residents or bach owners could consider contacting Rakiura Pest Control (rpc@xtra.co.nz) to discuss predator control services for your property
  • Share your stories: what has worked for you and your vision for the future. Promote the project.
  • Offer education services for the project

See more information on how to participate

How will my lifestyle be affected?

At this stage no proposals have been made nor decisions made on predator removal methods or the way in which predators will be kept off Rakiura, following removal. In order to protect Rakiura into the future, some form of biosecurity border would be needed. What that looks like and how it affects residents, business and visitors is not known. Detailed options will be developed under the guidance of a Predator Free Rakiura Group, and the communities of interest will have plenty of opportunity to seek elaboration and express preferences over which one(s) they want to see implemented. Feasibility studies will identify all available options, providing leadership and community groups with the knowledge they need to make an informed, collaborative decision. 

Who will pay for the project?

This is currently unknown. Based on other projects, it is likely to be a combination of donations from philanthropic trusts, public donations and central government.

What predator removal tools/methods will be used and what will be their impact on the community and environment?

At this stage no proposals have been made nor decisions made on predator removal methods. Detailed options will be developed under the guidance of a Predator Free Rakiura Group, and the communities of interest will have plenty of opportunity to seek elaboration and express preferences over which one(s) they want to see implemented.

Will aerial toxin be used?

No decisions have been made on the methods that will be used to achieve a Predator Free Rakiura. Feasibility studies will identify all available options, providing leadership and community groups with the knowledge they need to make an informed, collaborative decision.

Why is a Predator Free Rakiura possible now?

Feasibility of achieving a Predator Free Rakiura is not yet known. With technology advances and the broad support for a Predator Free 2050, it is believed the large, complex challenges identified in the past could possibly now be overcome or will be overcome if we start working on the specific questions for this project.

What is taking so long?

Momentum in pest eradication technology and investment for a Predator Free New Zealand has ramped up in recent years. Projects previously considered infeasible, such as this project on Rakiura, are now being reconsidered. Working through a project of this scale and complexity takes time and commitment. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in July 2019 describes the commitment of 13 Parties within the Predator Free Rakiura Group to this project.

What impact will there be on deer?

Deer are not in scope for Predator Free Rakiura. The Predator Free Rakiura Group includes a representative from the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association to ensure their needs are represented. The New Zealand Deerstalkers Association are also a signatory of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Parties of the Predator Free Rakiura Group, committing to develop a strategy for the project.

Why are deer not being considered for removal as part of Predator Free Rakiura?

The Predator Free Rakiura group have chosen to focus efforts on the removal of a shortlist of predators (rats, possums and feral cats) as these species are considered to have the greatest predatory impact on Rakiura’s wildlife. The group recognise the economic and recreational hunting value placed on deer by the local and extended community. Including deer for removal would significantly alter the costs and level of support for the Predator Free Rakiura proposal. 

How will my pets be affected?

Domestic pets are not in scope for removal by the Predator Free Rakiura Group.  Environment Southland requires that domestic pet cats are neutered and micro-chipped.

Is this part of Predator Free 2050?

A successful Predator Free Rakiura project would be an important milestone in the journey towards a Predator Free New Zealand. The Project is of a large scale and involves overcoming complex challenges, which will require the learnings from other projects and provide learnings for other projects.

More information: Predator Free 2050 Limited and Predator Free New Zealand

What do the local Rakiura community think?

The local Rakiura community are best placed to answer that question. Having so many different agencies, organisations and individuals with differing motivations and backgrounds on the Predator Free Rakiura Group, including resident and bach owner representatives, helps ensure breadth in the planning of the Project. Survey work has indicated strong overall support for the concept within the local Rakiura community.

What is the focus of work for the next year?

In 2020 the Predator Free Rakiura Group will engage technical experts to start the evaluation of the feasibility of a Predator Free Rakiura. Communication and engagement will be another key focus, including working with local community and stakeholders to maximize community benefits. Multi-year funding will also be secured to support the engagement and technical work, and to inspire medium and long term investment.

How are the local Stewart Island / Rakiura Community and Environment Trust (SIRCET) involved in this project now and in the future?

SIRCET is not currently represented on the Predator Free Rakiura Group. The Predator Free Rakiura Group look forward to working with all the trusts, agencies and organisations and individuals who want to see Predator Free Rakiura become a reality. SIRCET’s vision of ‘tieke in our backyard’ aligns perfectly with the aspirations of a Predator Free Rakiura and we are excited to work together in the future.

Learn more about SIRCET.

What is the current status of a fence option around the Halfmoon Bay township?

There have been various conversations and reports in the past about possible techniques and options for the Project, including a proposal for different predator removal methods around the Halfmoon Bay township and a proposal for a fence surrounding the township. No decisions have been made about methods including a fence, the previous work undertaken is helpful as we head into the future work of considering the technical challenges.

Learn more in Project Documents.

How are the Morgan Foundation involved in this project?

The Morgan Foundation is not currently represented on the Predator Free Rakiura Group. The Predator Free Rakiura Group look forward to working with all the trusts, agencies, organisations and individuals who want to see Predator Free Rakiura become a reality.

Who is leading the work?

The Predator Free Rakiura Group, with representation of 16 groups, agencies and community members, is leading the work of the project. The Group includes representatives from the Rakiura community and representatives of several interest groups; hunting, fishing / aquaculture and business interests. 

The Parties to the Predator Free Rakiura Memorandum of Understanding are: 

  1. Awarua Rūnanga
  2. Oraka-Aparima Rūnanga
  3. Waihōpai Rūnanga
  4. Hokonui Rūnanga
  5. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu
  6. Rakiura Maori Lands Trust
  7. Rakiura Tītī Islands Administering Body
  8. Rakiura Tītī Committee
  9. Director-General of Conservation, Department of Conservation - Te Papa Atawhai
  10. Southland District Council
  11. Southland Regional Council (Environment Southland)
  12. Real Journeys
  13. New Zealand Deerstalkers Association