The government has today announced an ambitious goal of making New Zealand completely predator free by 2050.
The goal is for every single part of New Zealand to be completely free of rats, stoats and possums.
In announcing the move today, the government has committed $28 million in a new joint venture company called Predator Free New Zealand Ltd.
This funding is on top of the $60 to $80 million already invested in pest control by the government every year, and the millions more contributed by local government and the private sector.
It will drive the programme alongside the private sector.
The new company will identify large high value predator control projects and attract co-investors.
The government will also look to provide funding on a one for two basis – that is for every two dollars that local councils and the private sector put in, the government will contribute another dollar.
John Key says "this is the most ambitious conservation project" attempted anywhere in the world, but he believes if every one works together we can achieve it.
He said these introduced pests also threatened New Zealand's economy and primary sector, with their total economic cost estimated at around $3.3 billion a year.