Government sets goal of making Auckland's Waiheke Island predator free by 2025

Auckland's Waiheke Island will be predator free by 2025.

That's the goal of the Government which Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today for Te Korowai o Waiheke: Towards Predator Free Waiheke.

A total of $10.9 million is budgeted for the project which was launched at Piritahi Marae on the Hauraki Gulf island today. Of that $2.6 million will come from the Predator Free 2050 fund.

"Successful eradication of stoats and rats from Waiheke would make it the world’s largest and most populated island predator eradication project," Ms Sage says.

"A predator-free Waiheke will see the return of native birds from neighbouring predator-free islands such as Motuihe, Motutapu and Rangitoto.

“We are already starting to see this happen with the recent return of North Island kākā to Waiheke.

"Eradicating rats and stoats will enable North Island kākā, kākāriki, kereru, tui, korimako or bellbird, piwakawaka or fantail, tūturiwhatu or New Zealand dotterel, ōi or grey-faced petrel and kororā or little blue penguins to breed safely and increase in number on Waiheke."

Ms Sage says Auckland Council, Predator Free 2050 and Foundation North are providing the bulk of the funding for the people of Waiheke to rid their island of stoats and rats.

Waiheke Island / Auckland
Waiheke Island (file picture). Source: istock.com