A bold initiative to rid Rakiura/Stewart Island of predators has been boosted with the appointment of Bridget Carter as Project Manager-Community.
Mrs Carter will liaise with the community and external agencies to support the Predator Free Rakiura leadership group’s goal of ridding Rakiura/Stewart Island of rats, possums, feral cats and hedgehogs.
Funding for the 12-month role was received from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment after an application by Southland District Council.
Mrs Carter, an island resident, previously worked for the Department of Conservation and the Stewart Island/Rakiura Community and Environment
Her role has a strong community focus, with the priorities stakeholder engagement and opportunity planning. She will help the Predator Free
Rakiura group to connect with iwi, central and local government, the Rakiura/Stewart Island and wider community, philanthropists, non-government
organisations, businesses, science and research organisations, land owners and individuals.
The Predator Free Rakiura group is working to pull together their collective input into an action plan, facilitated by Mrs Carter.
Mrs Carter says she is “privileged by the chance to help the Predator Free Rakiura group identify the opportunities that link today to the day when the
goal of a Predator Free Rakiura is realised”.
“This is an aspirational, ambitious and courageous vision. I feel proud to be part of the thinking. I hope to help connect the dots of the incredible
conservation efforts, by so many, already under way on Rakiura and the Rakiura tītī islands, with the existing tools and new, exciting technologies
emerging that would make a Predator Free Rakiura possible.
“I am excited that a Predator Free Rakiura could be a reality for our daughter growing up on the island and look forward to hearing from others of their
aspirations, ideas, questions and concerns.”
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