6a) What eradication methods will be used and what will be their impact on the community and environment?
At this stage no proposals have been made nor decisions made on eradication methods for either project. Detailed options will be developed under the guidance of the Governance Group, and the communities of interest will have plenty of opportunity to seek elaboration and express preferences over which one(s) they want to see implemented. Aerial application of toxins will not be used for the township area, and work is going into new technologies for the rest of the island.
6b) What biosecurity measures will be used to prevent reinvasion?
This will take some work during this next stage of feasibility assessment to work out how intensive the island biosecurity system needs to be. Certainly some work will be needed on the wharves at Halfmoon Bay and Bluff, as a minimum, to ensure rodents are kept off the ships and not mistakenly bought to the island. Protecting a predator-free Halfmoon Bay (and ultimately, Stewart Island) will require vigilance from everyone. It should be noted that Rangitoto and Motutapu islands in the Hauraki Gulf are pest free and currently operate with little obvious island biosecurity measures; indeed the system is virtually invisible to individuals. The aim is to recreate that experience on Stewart Island as far as possible. A paper on biosecurity proposals will be developed as part of the feasibility study for the project.
6c) What happens if there is a re-invasion?
This is always a risk as we have seen on Ulva Island and many mainland island sanctuaries, so constant vigilance and response is part and parcel of the ongoing nature of the project. Becoming predator free will take a lot of hard work, and maintaining that predator free status will also be hard work. However we are constantly learning about pest movements and how we can reduce the risk of reinvasion.