Pest Free Kaipatiki at Pestival 2017

Pest Free Kaipatiki community attendees share some of the highlights from the inaugural first Pestival event...

Bernadette, David and Janet in front of the PFK / Kaipatiki Project stall

Photo: Bernadette, volunteer, with PFK steering committee members David and Janet, at Pestival!

Pest Free Kaipātiki attended and presented at Pestival 2016 at the Aotea Centre’s Lower NZI Room on Saturday June 24. Hosted by Auckland Biodiversity and Predator Free NZ, the hui brought together communities, organisations, local government and businesses, inviting them to present and discuss the goals of a Predator Free NZ by 2050 and Pest Free Auckland. Ngati Whatua led a moving powhiri, and Councillor Penny Hulse kicked things off with a warm welcome. Speakers from around the country included academic and governmental advisors and leaders, ecologists, council staff, IT specialists, app designers as well as several predator free community initiatives including Janet Cole representing Pest Free Kaipātiki.

All presenters were asked to address four key questions: 1. How do we engage with Auckland’s diverse communities? 2. What are the barriers to conservation by the community? 3. How can council and DOC help? 4. What are the priorities for new initiatives?

See the Pestival Programme for the full line-up. Most of the presentation slides are available online (see links below).

Here is the (revised) slideshow from Janet's presentation...

And some photos from the day...

Photos: Clockwise from top left: Sir Bob Fenwick - Predator Free NZ, Janet Cole - Pest Free Kaipātiki (negotiating the maze!), Fraser McConnell - Squawk Squad and Simon Croft - Encounter Solutions.

To get input from the audience, the organisers also invited people to send their answers via text.

Many other groups were represented by displays in the foyer - Gecko NZ Trust, EcoMatters, North-west Wildink, Forest & Bird, Ark in the Park, Squawk Squad, alongside Kaipātiki Project and Pest Free Kaipātiki, along with others in the commercial space - but with a tight one-day schedule, and so many presentations the opportunity for introductions and 'doing the rounds' was limited.

More from our group representatives: Janet Cole, Steering Committee Member: Pestival! David, Derek, Pam and I attended, plus Ben, Mary, Anna B, Fiona and Ella from Gecko… along with other PFK volunteers and supporters! About 400 people there. An Expo element with displays including lots of products and campaigns, recommend looking up Squawk Squad. We had very positive feedback and people are keen to have us over to talk about what we’re doing, including a group in Oratia, South F&B group and Farm Cove Intermediate in Howick [the first pest-free school in Auckland]. It was a great gathering, although a bit formal. I think there’s an opportunity for a future gathering that is more community-led and focused. i.e. This event was all presentations from the stage, but I think there would be value to finding out how people are solving the problems we are facing, more workshops, demos etc.

David Roberts, Steering Committee Member:

A highlight for me was Prof. Bruce Clarkson explaining the restoration of semi-urban land in Hamilton by the careful selection of species to plant. The first tree was planted in 2004 and last year 28,000 trees were put in the ground. He showed some great photos & graphics. View Prof. Bruce Clarkson’s slideshow

Pam Templeton, PFK Volunteer: Great to see people come together on sharing the pest-free vision nationwide and looking towards a Pest Free Auckland. A dozen or so people involved with Pest Free Kaipātiki attended, including volunteers, council people from parks and biodiversity departments and Kaipātiki Local Board member Anne-Elise Smithson.

Janet's presentation on what Pest Free Kaipātiki has achieved was very insightful. Janet shared some very practical advice on the challenges and barriers we face. How to embrace and make space for different approaches and demands for pest control (i.e. chemical-free solutions) and the difficulties of "navigating the maze" - particularly working with an ever-changing council and chasing sponsorship.

How to encourage diversity?

"We mustn't be afraid to have those difficult conversations!" How do we reduce barriers to community action?

"Make it fun!" :)

Was interesting to hear many other speakers repeat Janet’s emphasis on the importance of focusing on community connection being key to success.

(Science and technology is great, but you need to capture the imagination of the people).

Another highlight was Dr Andrea Byrom's presentation (from National Science Challenge): "Big Ideas for a transformational shift to achieve eradication". Dr Byron called for TV media to provide daily forecasts on biodiversity and #PFNZ2050, alongside the weather and business reports…Genius!

Look forward to the next one!

More info

Follow the conversation on Twitter: #PFNZ2050 #PredatorFreeNZ #PestFreeAuckland


Did you also attend Pestival 2017? Tell us what you got out of it on the Pest Free Kaipatiki Facebook page.




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