Tā mātou whāinga tāhuhu
Whakahokia mai ngā reo karanga o te pēpeke,
o te pekapeka, o te ngārara, o te manu ki ngā
ngahere, ki ngā whenua pāmu, ki ngā tāone iti,
ki ngā tāone nui me ngā takutai.
Return the voices of the insects, bats, reptiles and birds back to the forests, farmland, towns, cities and coasts.
Imagine an Aotearoa where our quirky and charismatic native species are safe from extinction and thriving alongside us. New Zealand’s native birds, bats, frogs, lizards and insects are taonga. We want our cities and forests to be a haven for these treasures.
Flourishing forests will restore and strengthen the mauri (life force) of Papatūānuku (Earth Mother) and return balance to the environment. New Zealanders young and old, will feel a sense of wonder and connection with our vibrant natural world.
Sadly, we are rapidly losing these taonga. We have hundreds of species on the brink of extinction and thousands more, including our namesake kiwi, are in serious trouble.
Most of us have never seen a kiwi or tuatara in the wild. Many can’t imagine what a New Zealand full of native birds, bats, frogs, lizards and insects would even look like. When ecosystems are out of balance, the mauri (life force), the wairua (spirit), the mana (integrity) and the tapu (sacredness) of the environment are all impacted. And if the environment is ailing, we are all in some way weakened.
As native species continue their rapid decline, opportunities to see them will become increasingly rare.
The taonga of Aotearoa evolved over millions of years, isolated from the rest of the world, so they didn’t develop defences against the mammalian predators that came with the arrival of human settlers.
The introduction of rats, stoats, and possums into Aotearoa has put native species at serious risk. These introduced predators are found from sea level to alpine areas, devastating native wildlife and forests, and threatening the future survival of the native taonga of Aotearoa.
But there is hope. Native wildlife is now thriving on many of New Zealand’s offshore islands and mainland sanctuaries thanks to successful predator control. Birds are extending beyond the safety of sanctuaries and even repopulating some of our cities.
Predator Free 2050 is a bold attempt to build on that success and apply it nationally. The goal is to completely remove introduced rats, stoats and possums from mainland New Zealand.
No one says it will be easy. It hasn’t been done before and there’s no manual to follow.
Together we’ve all got a role to play. We need to combine our resources and unite communities to increase the land area under control and develop new technologies and tools to help us remove introduced predators for good.
We need people from all across the country to unite behind this common vision.