New Zealand’s ambitious goal to become predator free by 2050 is under the spotlight in a four part documentary and podcast series that is released next week – a project supported by NEXT.

The documentary series is a three year project by producer, director and cameraman Peter Young – who follows the highs and lows and mahi of thousands of New Zealanders who are determined to make this difficult goal a reality.

“What has shone through in the filming of this series, is the incredible passion that so many New Zealanders have for our wildlife – from grassroot trappers, to community conservation groups and experts in the offices of Wellington, it’s clear that New Zealanders are strongly connected to our land and care deeply for our unique wildlife,” says Peter Young.

“Predator Free 2050 (PF2050) is by far the biggest and best news I’ve reported in 20 years of covering conservation. It’s a defining moment for our wildlife, so the opportunity to collaborate with a storyteller of Peter’s calibre — to document that watershed – has been a personal highlight.” says Dave Hansford, Series Co-Producer and Podcast Writer and Presenter.

Speaking at the launch of Fight for the Wild NEXT environmental advisor Devon McLean acknowledged the effort of the production crew – who spent time in the laboratories, the cities and the mountains with the technical teams developing solutions to these challenges.

“All this in the time of COVID which has caused delays but never dampened their spirit,” Devon says.

“COVID has illustrated something very important. When it matters, we in New Zealand can pull together and look after each other. This team of 5 million can do what few others have done.

“We need to bring that same spirit to the task of securing the future of our biodiversity.

“What we refer to as the Predator Free 2050 campaign is about so much more than killing pests.

“As we see in every community where projects are running it is about giving our biodiversity a chance, but it is also about building more resilient communities, communities that know each other and are working together towards a common goal. It is about a sense of purpose and wellbeing for many as we face an uncertain world and the unknowns of a changing climate’” he said.

“Strengthening biodiversity is a powerful response to climate change just as, limiting climate change, is essential to the future of biodiversity as we know it.

“Thanks to COVID we even have a new vernacular! We are all familiar with the concept of elimination now, and the discipline of tracking and tracing. We understand that even one case, for COVID as for predators, represents a greater risk than we can tolerate if the elimination goal is to be achieved.

“We have done it for each other during COVID, now we need to do it for the benefit of our nature and our future generations.

“Peter and the Fisheye team have brought the opportunity and the challenges to light in a new and spectacular way. We all hope that Fight for the Wild will inspire and empower all New Zealanders to join the campaign to transform the prospects for biodiversity across New Zealand.”

Fight for the Wild starts screening on Radio New Zealand and TVOne channels next week.