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Keeping pests under control long term supports New Zealand’s biodiversity.

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When we started Goodnature, we were on a mission to solve a very specific problem: too many invasive pests threatening New Zealand’s biodiversity. That was 14 years ago and our mission hasn’t changed one bit.

People, birds, plants, fish, insects…we’re all interdependent which means when the population of one invasive species (like rats) gets too big, the number of native species (like tui or takahe) can very quickly get out of whack. It doesn’t take long for iconic species like kiwi and kaka to be reduced to dangerously low numbers. The same goes for lesser-known species like Archey’s frog in the Waikato or the powelliphanta snail in the Abel Tasman. Their presence is living proof of a healthy, well-balanced environment.

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As a nation, New Zealand does a great job of presenting its stunning nature to the world. Millions of people travel here to experience what we locals get to enjoy every day. If we’re not taking steps to protect the environment we value so much, we risk our tourism appeal and the economic value that brings our cities and regions. We also risk the nature we value not being there for our children and their children, so we applaud DOC's strategic vision for biodiversity - one that's almost as long as a kakapo’s life!

We can’t reverse the past introductions of pests, but we can unwind the effects they have on the native plants and animals we have left. That’s what keeps me and everyone on our team coming up with better ideas to help more Kiwis protect and restore New Zealand’s nature – from native trees in national parks to birdsong in suburban backyards.

Every day, we set out to make pest control easy, safe, non-toxic and humane. Not just for professional pest controllers but for everyone. The easier and safer it is, the more people – from conservation groups to backyard trappers – can take pest control into their own hands, and the more native birds and trees we can protect.

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Fewer possums on Native Island has resulted in more kaka, miromiro and weka. Fewer stoats on a Northland farm has resulted in more oi and kereru. Fewer rats in suburban Wellington has resulted in healthier trees. I could go on forever with examples to show how the number of native species rockets when the number of invasive pests plummets.

Keeping pests under constant control long term is critical to restoring New Zealand’s biodiversity. That’s why we do what we do.

As a country known for its innovative thinking, we need to keep imagining the unimaginable with the tenacity and curiosity of a kea.

We need to play the long game by investing in innovative solutions that use fewer resources to keep pests under control long term.

We need to keep putting our heads and hearts together so that our precious nature has a fighting chance of flourishing again.

- Robbie van Dam – Co-founder and design director

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is currently looking for feedback on its proposal for New Zealand’s next biodiversity strategy. If you’d like to have a say on its plan to safeguard the future of our nature, visit https://www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/have-your-say/all-consultations/2019/proposal-for-new-zealands-next-biodiversity-strategy/ Submissions close Sunday 22 September at 5pm.