Brighter Future? Doing DOC's work

Kate Gudsell, 7 July 2017

The government spends between $60 million and $80m a year on pest control and last year launched its 'Predator Free by 2050' strategy, with an initial $28m investment to get it started.

But with 800 native species in New Zealand classified as threatened and faced with extinction, community groups like Pest Free Plimmerton still play an important role - and sometimes do so in lieu of government-funded work.

Biological heritage national science challenge director Andrea Byrom says more people are undertaking pest control in their communities.

But community partnerships with government are a "double-edged sword", Dr Byrom says.

One one hand, partnerships are a fantastic way to get work happening on private land, not just on the conservation estate, she says.

However, she worries the resources and skills are not being put in to help these communities really deliver on the country's big conservation goals.

"They're very fragmented and not coordinated."

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