In 2019, Predator Free Wellington began NZ’s biggest urban eradication project, targeting rats, stoats and weasels on the Miramar Peninsula.
The organisation devised a highly effective communications campaign to engage the local community en masse in this predator eradication project. The goal was to secure permission from more than 3,000 people to place bait stations or traps in their backyards. More than that, the aim was to get Wellingtonians involved in a movement. The campaign turned a team of 26 into a team of thousands.
Predator Free Wellington took the community’s lead and adapted plans based on ideas and input. The campaign ensured sensitivity to different cultural needs. Locals carried out flyer drops ahead of the team door knocking. Predator Free Wellignton teamed up with local businesses, organised community clean up days, sponsored community murals and ran events at local breweries. Updates were provided on social media and by email.
The eradication involved laying 8,000 traps and bait stations, 1,800 community traps and 13,000 detection cards. Ninety nine per cent of people approached game permission to have a trap or bait station on their property. There has already been a marked increase of bird life on the peninsula including kākā, kārearea and kākāriki all being recorded for the first time.