NEXT Foundation is delighted to announce a new partnership to support communities becoming predator free – it has engaged Wellingtonian Kelvin Hastie as the NEXT Predator Free Community Champion.
Kelvin, who spearheaded the successful Crofton Downs Predator Free Community project, will initially work with the Predator Free Wellington project in a bid to make Wellington City the first capital in the world to be predator free. The project, a collaboration between the Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and the philanthropic NEXT Foundation was announced today.
NEXT CEO Bill Kermode said NEXT was thrilled to support Kelvin as one of its environmental investments towards a Predator Free New Zealand in 2050.
“Kelvin is like New Zealand’s urban predator hunter. He has shown in Crofton Downs how his unique charm, individual thinking, and enthusiasm can mobilise communities into action to become Predator Free,” Bill said.
“NEXT is thrilled to support him in scaling up his efforts to the wider Wellington region – and ultimately other parts of New Zealand. Kelvin will make a massive contribution to bringing back New Zealand’s birdsong.”
“The Predator Free Wellington project will also contribute to greater community engagement with the environment, as well as social and economic benefits.”
NEXT has already supported Kelvin to set up Predator Free communities in Wellington suburbs Wilton, Ngaio, Khandallah, Wadestown, Highbury, Northland and Plimmerton following on from the success of the project in Crofton Downs – which eliminated 184 rats and 27 stoats and weasels in the suburb before monitoring zero after 12 months. The Crofton Downs project was seed funded by Morgan Foundation and the Transpower community care fund.
Kelvin has a background in IT but became determined to out-think the predators after he saw a weasel outside his Crofton Downs home two years ago. He sparked the community into action, spurring one in every five households in the suburb into backyard trapping.
“I am really excited about my new role and the opportunity to work with the Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council in scaling up this project,” Kelvin said. “In ten year’s time when this is successful the city will be teeming with birds and along the way we will be able to reintroduce iconic species like Kiwi and Kokako and some of our rare lizards. Wellington will be back into full song.”
For more on Kelvin Hastie, view the NEXT video here
To connect with Kelvin on Facebook click here
About NEXT Foundation
NEXT Foundation was launched two years ago and will invest $100 million over the next 10 years to create a legacy of environmental and educational excellence for the benefit of future generations of New Zealanders. For more visit our website www.nextfoundation.org.nz
For further information contact NEXT Communications Director Polly Hudson 021 772 482