“Overseas researchers interested in pest control or eradication are all looking at New Zealand,” says Forest and Bird chief executive Kevin Hague.
There are several reasons for that. We are distant from other land masses, and we are surrounded by islands filled with pests that allow confined testing to eradicate whole populations.
We also have a natural ecology that once flourished in the absence of predators. Now infested with rats, we can target those pest populations without fear of killing protected mammals.
And there’s our national focus on killing pests. “This is a country in the world that has done the most in this area,” says Hague.
Not only that, but the government’s adoption of a grassroots ambition to become “predator free” by 2050 signalled to the world New Zealand was a country that took killing pests incredibly seriously.