The suburbs of Porirua City, north of Wellington, have a been a hotbed of pest trapping action since the first predator-free suburb launched there in May 2016.
The city is one of many leading the charge toward Predator Free 2050. The combined trapping groups have now surpassed 500 households across six suburbs and one marae. Last month, Titahi Bay resident Dave Sutherland launched his suburb’s attack on pests.
“People love Titahi Bay because it has both natural beauty and a great connection between neighbours. Pest Free Titahi Bay is an idea that can improve them both. By working together we can bring back the birds, ” said Dave.
After attending the Titahi Bay launch, Whitby local John Lambert put his hand up to start a group in his suburb, and plans to launch it next month.
Titahi Bay and Whitby join Plimmerton, Mana/Cambourne, Papakowhai, Golden Gate and Pukerua Bay which each have a predator-free community organiser supplying traps and advice to their neighbours on how to control pests in their backyards. The trapping communities are supported by local DOC and Porirua City Council staff.
Pest-Free Plimmerton organisers Heather Evans, Linda Kerkmeester and Lee McLauchlan started the city’s first pest-free suburb a year ago. Linda says householders are seeing declining rat numbers and more fantails, silvereyes and tūī in their backyards.
“If we can protect the entire Porirua harbour edge from pests, we will see native birds and lizards spill-over from refuges like Pauatahanui Wildlife Reserve.”
Just a few suburbs remain un-trapped in the quest to protect the harbour edge and Linda is calling for more locals to step up.
If anyone in Paremata, Elsdon and Pauatahanui is keen to plug these gaps, get in touch on email, firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can help get you started.