Sandy King and Jill Skerrett – representing the Stewart Island community
Gail Thompson – representing iwi interests
Stewart Bull – representing iwi (Titi Islands) interests
Leon Fife – representing Rakiura Maori Land Trust
Ali Timms – representing Environment Southland
Bruce Halligan – representing Southland District Council
Paul Norris – representing business interests
Steve Long – representing hunting interests (Southland NZDA)
Garry Neave – representing fishing interests
Gareth Morgan – representing funders
Allan Munn – representing DOC
The first meeting of this group was on Thursday 23 January at the Southland Institute of Technology in Invercargill.
Here are the key messages coming out of the meeting:
- The Predator Free Rakiura project is about removing possums, cats and rats from Stewart Island
- The meeting was mainly focussed on getting set up, how the Group will function, when they will meet, etc
- They had a look at the draft economic appraisal. This still has some work and review due, but will be complete and ready for distribution by March. From a preliminary look, the idea of removing rats, cats and possums from Stewart Island looks good for the economy and job numbers both on Stewart Island and in Southland.
- Next meeting will be in March. At this meeting the economic report will be finalised and available. Also, they will look at approaches and options about how to proceed – no decisions have yet been made on how to remove any of these predators.
- It will be after this March meeting that they will be starting to discuss this and get input from everyone who has an interest in this project.