On a mission to make Onetahua predator free

May 11, 2022

It was a great day today with the announcement of funding from Predator Free 2050 for the proposed pest eradication programme on Farewell Spit to Whanganui inlet.

The HealthPost Nature Trust and the Tasman Environmental Trust are delighted to receive the news that Predator 2050 is funding a feasibility study for a pest eradication programme on the North Western side of Golden Bay.

Onetahua Restoration is a partnership between Manawhenua ki Mohua, HealthPost Nature Trust and Tasman Environmental Trust for a predator eradication programme to enable the ecological restoration of an area stretching from Farewell Spit to the Whanganui Inlet. They are working with the community to craft a shared vision for the area. 

Onetahua Restoration says that community support is critical to the proposed project’s success. They are embarking on a community consultation process, which includes face to face meetings with local landowners and residents.

“We are consulting the community, at the very earliest stages, to develop a shared community vision for the project,” the HealthPost Nature Trust Chair, Peter Butler and Tasman Environment Trust Chair, Gillian Bishop say.

Over the past four years the HealthPost Nature Trust has made great strides in eradicating pests and restoring native habitats in the Farewell Spit/Cape Farewell areas. This includes the construction of a pest-proof fence at Cape Farewell, planting over 8,000 native plants in the Wharariki wetlands and placing 280 predator traps across eight traplines. one of this would be possible without the support of Manawhenua Ki Mohua, local businesses, the Department of Conservation, Lonestar Farms and above all the thousands of hours put in by dozens of local volunteers.

Tasman Environmental Trust also has extensive experience with pest control projects and supports Project Mohua, a local community conservation group.

“We are at the very early planning stages. This funding will enable a thorough feasibility study with extensive community consultation before any work would start,” Peter Butler says.

“Projects like ours in other parts of the country that have strong community input are achieving great results,” Gillian Bishop says.

“This is a bold vision, but one we are passionate about, working with the community to bring the birds and other native wildlife back to this special part of the world,” Peter Butler says.

Read more about the project in these recent media stories:

This article was originally written by the Tasman Environmental Trust for the Onetahua Restoration Project Newsletter.