Yellow eyed penguin Port Pegasus Stewart Island Photo Jake Osborne CC BY NC SA 2.0

Sandy King - Stewart Island Community

I grew up and now live permanently on Stewart Island.

I am one of two people selected from the community to act as a “conduit” between the islands’ community and the Predator Free Rakiura Group. I have spent about 14 years in total traveling, living and working in other parts of New Zealand and the world, and am lucky to have spent time on some other amazing islands where there have been eradication projects, and to have gotten to know those islands before and after the eradications. I have witnessed first-hand the short and long term costs and benefits that result. I support the concept of a Predator Free Rakiura, while knowing that this proposal is vastly different to anything that has been done on other islands because of the community here. We have the opportunity now to investigate the feasibility of making Stewart Island / Rakiura predator free. It will be a huge challenge, but the potential benefits are also huge and so make worthwhile the time, energy and resources needed for the project. It is essential that the island community engages in this process, and as a member of the Group I’m happy for them to talk to me, give feedback, and ask questions – they know how to find me!

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