The Wairarapa Pūkaha to Kawakawa Alliance (WaiP2K) is a community-led network. It brings many different groups together to increase the health of Wairarapa ecosystems, biodiversity, water and the resilience of its communities and to respond to climate change. Included in our planned work is animal pest control. A group of representatives including Ian Gunn, GWRC and DOC have been talking about an animal pest control strategy for Wairarapa for some time. A WaiP2K Jobs for Nature funding proposal was submitted, however this was unsuccessful. Since then, WaiP2K has been investigating other options to fund a region-wide animal pest control strategy with the medium to long-term goals of:
- Predator control becoming an integral part of the work of our members
- Landowners managing their farming operations to maintain and improve biodiversity values
- Building and increasing the stock of resources, knowledge and expertise for participating groups
- Trap data coordinated and recorded across the alliance rohe (traps, traplines, catches recorded in a single database i.e Trap NZ)
- Increases in targeted native species populations
- Engagement in future pest control training workshops
Funding options have been identified through the Ministry for Primary Industries funding for Catchment Community Groups (CCGs) in the Wairarapa as well as “seed” funding from the Department of Conservation.
Using the Jobs for Nature funding proposal as well as feedback from the WaiP2K predator control survey sent out to restoration, biodiversity and catchment community group in the Wairarapa, WaiP2K allocated some funding towards developing an Animal Pest Control strategy. We envisage we will work together with all parties involved in animal pest control in Wairarapa i.e. agencies, iwi, restoration groups, and rural and urban communities. We are currently investigating a suitably qualified contractor to draft this strategy.
In addition, WaiP2K is looking for an animal pest control contractor to build capacity within the CCGs and other groups including those working in an urban environment.
The contractor will not only provide groups with individualised animal pest program planning, audits and reviews but will also provide hands-on training and training workshops with groups with a range of experience.
These workshops will include training for members of WaiP2K that will include:
- How to develop and implement an integrated pest management programme
- What pests are present
- Choice of trap types
- Setting of traps (appropriate placement, important times of the year to target different pests, maintenance of traps to ensure they operate effectively)
A working group will be formed to ensure the goals of the strategy are being met – please let us know if you are interested in being a member of this group.