Environment Canterbury welcomes Pest Free Banks Peninsula initiative

Environment Canterbury welcomed the signing of a memorandum of understanding to promote the vision of Banks Peninsula being made free of animal pests by 2050.

Speaking at an event at Living Springs attended by Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage, Chair Steve Lowndes said this initiative was a tangible demonstration the “step change” in an effort for biodiversity identified as a priority for Council.

“There is already a lot going on for pest control (plants as well as animals) on the Peninsula and Port Hills,” Mr Lowndes said. “Agencies have their own programmes and a huge amount is being done by community groups and individuals.

“This partnership will take it to the next level,” he continued. “It is a significant step towards achieving the pest-free Banks Peninsula vision.

“We are therefore looking to increase our support for the programme – it’s important to Canterbury. As well as biodiversity and wider environmental benefits, we see Pest Free Banks Peninsula as supporting economic development including tourism and agriculture, and social connections.”

In addition to Minister Sage, the event was attended by a variety of community participants as well as MOU signatories from Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust (which led the process), Christchurch City Council, the Department of Conservation, the five local rūnanga, the Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust, Selwyn District Council, and the Summit Road Society.

“A key theme with all our biodiversity and pest management work is collaborative effort – working with our communities,” Mr Lowndes concluded.

“This MOU initiative will help a lot with the way we approach animal pest management in an area we all value very much. We look forward to helping turn the pest-free vision into reality.”

Read the Minister's media release.