Waiheke Collective

Who are the Waiheke Collective?

Read about the people involved here

If my project/ passion / group is not focused on predator control, am I still a part of the Collective and how do I contribute?

The idea of the Collective is to pool our combined expertise and resources to support our natural environment. A holistic approach to restoration is required to achieve a resilient, healthy and thriving natural environment.

There are many ways to contribute, doing your own pest control is perhaps the most obvious, but there are also contributions such as volunteer management, grant writing, and involvement in other causes associated with environmental restoration (i.e WRT projects like Love Our Wetlands).

Sharing how you or your group are enhancing our natural environment is a good way to inspire others and attracting support. Encourage participation by sharing how people can connect (Facebook groups, email etc). Involvement can include joining our database and participating in meetings (schedule to be developed). We welcome any other suggestions on ways people can contribute .

Does the community have a say?

Yes, we are committed to a community-led approach. We are developing a community vision and environmental strategy to give the community a voice. We welcome your input and feedback via Waihekecollective@gmail.com and on our contacts page  .

A community meeting (hui) was held in May 2018 and further gatherings are proposed. Read more about the Collective here and the May community meeting here.

How will current community pest control initiatives be supported? 

The intention of the Collective is to help amplify current initiatives. The Collective’s Strategic Action Plan will identify and align existing activity and ensure a co-ordinated and strategic approach that leverages support and resourcing for community projects.

How can I participate in the Waiheke Collective if I don’t want to use toxins?

Let us know what pest species you think you have on your property and how often you are there. This will help us work out what tools we can provide you with and whether we can get people to help you.

Are we working together with parts of Council, (e.g. Auckland Transport, Community Facilities) to achieve outcomes?

Auckland Council are a partner in the Collective and have been very involved in discussions and PFW planning. However, further engagement will be required to progress the proposed programme and ensure all Auckland Council departments and Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) are fully briefed and aligned.

How does Council’s  Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) consider the Waiheke Collective community-led approach to pest management?  

The RPMP is the statutory document underpinning pest management across the region. Community-led pest control is primarily supported under the complementary ‘Pest Free Auckland’ initiative and funding will be determined through the Council’s Long-term Plan consultation.

The proposed RPMP supports the community aspiration for a “Pest Free Waiheke’ and provides for the eradication of rats, stoats and pigs on Waiheke Island as well as expansion of the Pest Free Warrant programme. This programme will be critical in preventing reinvasion of rats and mustelids following eradication.

What do the Long-term Plan funding options mean for the proposed Waiheke eradication?

Under funding Option B it is proposed to fund rat and stoat eradication through a strategic partnership model, with 70 per cent of operational expenditure funded by partners such as philanthropists and corporate partners.

What about other pest plant management on Waiheke?

The evolution of the Collective will give the community plenty of opportunity to help contribute to what further work is done. Under the new RPMP, Auckland Council will continue their eradication and control programmes. Follow this link to the RPMP for more details.

Predator Free Waiheke (PFW) project :

Why are you controlling rats and mustelids?

Eradicating these pests  allows native biodiversity to flourish on Waiheke and protects nearby pest-free islands.

Why is the mustelid project starting first and not in conjunction with rat control?

Mustelids, especially stoats, are the species considered the most feasible to eradicate. Reinvasion of mustelids is considered unlikely. Fewer tools are needed to eradicate mustelids than rats, which means less financial investment is required.  The mustelid control project serves as a good pre-cursor to the potential full Island rat eradication.

What should I be doing to contribute? / How can I get involved?

There are many ways to contribute:

  • Sign-up on our website and tell us your interests and skills.

  • Check the website for updates and details on where to purchase equipment and supplies and send event reminders to your contacts 

  • Join other local community groups

  • Purchase your own pest control gear (bait and/or traps) for use on your property or undertake some monitoring.

  • Sign up for reminders for bait pulsing with Waiheke Rat Busters. email coordinator Sally Horwood sallyhorwoodconservation@gmail.com

  • Donate. We need to secure two thirds of the funding for the Predator Free Waiheke project. Landowners who can fund their own control can contact us for help designing a programme.

Where can I get the right training on pest control?

Workshops and practical training sessions will be held to help upskill the community.

 Do any of the existing groups have traps etc. for sale?

  • The Palm Beach group have a trap purchase programme. Please contact predatorfreepb@gmail.com

  • Forest and Bird have bait available for purchase at the Saturday markets.

  • Hire Centre at 2 Tahi road, Ostend also have bait for sale.

What support is available to start a neighbourhood scheme?

Find out if there’s an existing group in your area. If not, initiate conversations with your neighbours and once your new group is formed, please get in touch for advice.

I have a large property and I am physically/financially unable to carry out comprehensive pest control. Where can I get support and help?

Securing funding is the first step. Once funding is secured an operational plan will be developed which will include community support and resourcing options.  The Collective will make contact with individual landowners to discuss inclusion in the programme roll out.

How do you convince a stoat to get into a box?

There are a number of tools available to lure animals to a trap. Fresh rabbit meat is a reliable lure. There are also a range of lures being scientifically assessed for effectiveness like ferret bedding and others with olfactory or visual cues. Choosing and siting the trap appropriately is key. These DOC Skillable YouTube links provide good advice on setting traps.

Does this approach comply with the Animal Welfare Act?

All planning for Predator Free Waiheke will consider the Animal Welfare Act and the Collective will ensure compliance with all relevant legislation and follow best practise guidelines.

How do we keep our pets safe while we deliver on Predator Free Waiheke?

  • Be a responsible pet owner: download brochure

  • Feed your pets well, well fed pets are less inclined to roam and eat things they shouldn’t

  • Keep cats inside at night

  • Walk dogs on a leash

  • Talk to other pet owners and help spread the message

  • Ensure devices are always secure so bait is not available to your pets. Read the label before use.

If you suspect your pet has been poisoned call a vet immediately and provide them any information you can from product labels.

What are the risks of secondary poisoning from predator control activities? 

  • Secondary poisoning occurs when a target species such as a rat or a mouse is scavenged by a non-target species such as a cat or dog.

  •  Secondary poisoning is more likely with toxins such as brodifacoum (common trade names include Pestoff and Talon)

  • Reduce the risk of secondary poisoning by carefully reading and following the instructions on the product label.

  • The natural antidote to brodifacoum is Vitamin K, administered by a vet as soon as possible (take the container or label containing the toxin to the vet).

  • Poorly set or sited traps can also pose a risk to people and pets – the Collective can provide advice on how to set and maintain traps.

Can I get a copy of the map presented at the Community gathering?

Project and activity maps are available on our Projects page.

What about the potential weed eruption once the rats are gone?

Existing weed control programmes will expand concurrently with this programme. We encourage groups to promote awareness and explore funding options and projects with a pest plant focus.

Hedgehogs are a major predator. Why aren’t they listed with rats and stoats?

Hedgehogs are a known pest species but are not included in the current predator free Waiheke project because they are not part of the Predator Free 2050 Ltd funding targets. We acknowledge they are a problem and one of the benefits of the mustelid programme is that rats and hedgehogs are also captured in the traps.

If the marina goes ahead at K.P would this pose a risk for harbouring rats in the moored vessels brought in from other areas of Auckland?

The marina development company has been required to develop a Biosecurity plan. Biosecurity teams in the region work very closely with the marine industry to ensure awareness and reduce the risk of pests spreading. Many boaties are aware and undertake measures to prevent these pests spreading and damaging their investment. Marinas and wharves are a key target for Treasure Island protection and advocacy programmes run by DOC and Auckland Council.

How can I differentiate between pest palms and nikau especially when small?

Pest palms are very difficult to identify from natives as seedlings, so the best approach is to focus efforts on the mature pests and monitor the seedlings. See a related news article here.

Are there rates rebates for covenanted properties?

The current Council rates rebate for conservation covenant holders is under review by Auckland Council. Rebates are likely to change to a grant and may be phased-out over time. Please raise any concerns about these proposed changes directly with the Auckland Council.