Rakitū Island officially predator free after pests eradicated

A check by predator-seeking dogs last week confirmed rats have been removed from the 300-hectare, off the coast of Great Barrier Island, Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said.

The 330-hectare Rakitū Island is now officially predator free. Source:

"This is a major milestone because Rakitū is the last DOC administered island in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park to be made pest-free," Sage said.

"Rakitū represents another step towards a Predator Free Aotearoa New Zealand."

There are now more than 40 pest-free islands in the region, which provide safe havens for endangered native wildlife including takahē, kakapo, kōkako, kiwi, geckos, skinks, bats, wētāpunga and tuatara.

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Some iwi groups claim they weren't consulted over the drop at Rakitu Island, something Auckland Council disputes. Source: Breakfast

Sage said Rakitū was farmed for more than a century and a restoration programme would now be developed.

Ngāti Rehua Ngātiwai ki Aotea and DOC rid Rakitū of rats in 2018.

The island sits on a native seabird highway that spans a chain of pest-free islands from the Poor Knights, north of Whangarei, to the Mercury Islands, south of Aotea/Great Barrier Island.