1a) How did it come about?
In 2012 Gareth Morgan approached the Department of Conservation and suggested that the possibility of making Rakiura and surrounding islands predator free be explored, a proposal be worked up in consultation with all relevant stakeholders and if it looks feasible, then it be considered for implementation. DOC agreed and the establishment of the Group began.
1b) Why is Gareth Morgan interested in this?
Gareth’s philanthropic trust – The Morgan Foundation – is involved in a number of conservation and social development investments in New Zealand and internationally. It has recently joined with the public of New Zealand to jointly fund the Million Dollar Mouse project, a project to ride the Antipodes Islands of mice. Gareth is also one of the trustees of Predator Free New Zealand. The possibility of Predator Free Rakiura – a concept that has repeatedly been strongly supported by public submissions to successive Conservation Management Strategies that the government has conducted – was one that excited his interest and he decided to see whether it could be done, and if so how.