A brand new agency is to be created by the Government as part of its plan to make the country pest-free by 2050.
LISTEN ABOVE: Dr James Russell, senior lecturer from the University of Auckland and technical advisor to Predator Free New Zealand and Zero Invasive Predators, spoke to Rachel Smalley
The Prime Minister's announced today the creation of a new joint venture company called Pest Free New Zealand.
It'll work with the private sector to come up with ways of tackling the country's possum, rat, and stoat populations.
John Key said the agency will be up and running by early next year.
"It will be responsible for identifying large, high-value predator control projects, and attracting co-investors to boost their scale and success."
The Government's optimistic its plan is both feasible and realistic.
It's to spend $28 million on the initiative over the next four years, setting up a new joint venture company to work with the private sector to deliver what the Prime Minister's calling an ambitious target.
Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry isn't downplaying the challenge calling it a "big hairy stretch", but she's confident it can be met.
"This is hard and we are going to do it. Predator free by 2050 is a goal and a challenge that we are willing to accept. One that we are unwilling to postpone and one that we are absolutely determined to win."
Ms Barry said DOC will be heavily involved in the scheme and she's sing its praises in terms of its pest control expertise.
"DOC is world-class in killing things. We're really, really, really good at it. All of these out-lying islands that people used to say couldn't possibly be predator-free, actually they are and we know what we're doing."
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