Wellington Scoop

Jo wants Wellington to be pest free, too – “a 100-year view”

Press Release – Jo Coughlan
Mayoral Candidate Jo Coughlan today launched her Pest Free Wellington policy. This follows her other recent announcements as a mayoral candidate: double tunnelling both The Terrace and Mount Victoria Tunnels, four lanes from Ngaraunga to the Planes , reviewing cycleways from pet projects into ‘cycleways of significance’ and supporting in principle an investment in the airport runway extension in return for reviewing the airport’s ownership interest in the airport.

“Securing Government funding and getting our roads up-to-standard and our infrastructure future-proofed are key priorities for me as Mayor. They reflect my vision for New Zealand’s capital city to be restored to its rightful place in the nation and make Wellingtonians proud over the next 100 years.

“Making Wellington pest free is another key plank in my vision for Wellington. We need to take a 100 year view and do some big things and do them right. This is about shifting the dial for Wellington,” Coughlan said today.

“Zealandia has become a diamond in Wellington’s crown. It has taught us that taking action can make a different to our flora and fauna. It is not unusual to see and hear more birds as they fly out of that sanctuary.

“But why only have 50 ha in a sanctuary? What about hearing and seeing more birds and native bush when you are walking or biking in our many areas of bush because getting rid of pest helps them thrive?”

“Our topography lends itself to being able to consider making the Wellington peninsula pest free. It would not be without significant challenges and would take time, but if we set this as a target then then I think it is realistic to work toward it over the next decade.

“As mayor I will lead the city in working with the people of Wellington, the Regional Council, DOC, the Next Foundation, community volunteers and organisations, and other partners to implement a program which would look to eradicate pests which prey on our native wildlife and destroy natural habitat.

Ms Coughlan noted that she had held discussions with Lou Sanson, Chief Executive of the Department of Conversation, and been engaging with other key stake holders including Good Nature and MoA Conversation Trust to learn more about and undertake some trapping.

“Rats, stoats, possums and feral cats would be key targets. It’s time for these destructive pests to go. I want to make Wellington pest free to enhance our already beautiful natural environment to make it even more stunning city. I would aspire to target our town belt areas being pest free within a decade from launch” she said.

Ms Coughlan applauded the work of the Morgan Foundation and Next foundations along with many volunteer groups such as the Polhill Reserve Trust who were support trapping efforts around the city.

“While I don’t agree with Gareth Morgan on everything, particularly on domesticated cats, I do agree that feral, wild cats are an issue that we need to face up to. I believe organisations like the Morgan Foundation can play a leading role in supporting such a vision for our city.”

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Justin wants Wellington to be pest free


  1. Pest, 6. July 2016, 23:47

    Pest free roads? Cats? Hedgehogs?

  2. Sekhmet Bast Ra, 7. July 2016, 4:32

    Is there any one individual amongst elected representatives and hired staff at the WCC who is not engaged in the orchestrated libelous propaganda campaign of hate directed at our beloved Feline companions? It’s like a stuck record, and quite honestly a lot of citizens are fed up with it. Morgan Foundation? Polhill Reserve Trust? In our view you are supporting extremist groups, and you actually admit you want to get out in the field and do some hands-on killing! Not a good look there Jo, shame on you.

  3. Polly, 7. July 2016, 6:23

    Cr Coughlan refers to the Minister of Conversation! and her discussion re pests. Have no doubt that like many others he found her “conversation” pesty!

  4. Elaine Hampton, 7. July 2016, 9:56

    More wreckage in Wellington, double tunnels – extended runway. (Where is the business case, how much of our money will be used?) The city we know is reduced and more concrete covers town belt and suburb. NZTA is doing its best to encourage more cars onto the road by obstructing much needed public transport. Look forward 100 years? Just look at other well functioning cities now, cars are under control and public transport is excellent. That is the future, why do we go for white elephants? We need a livable, walk-able city, not one we speed through in cars ignoring the blandness outside.