Produced for RNZ by Fisheye Films | Made possible by the RNZ/NZ On Air Innovation Fund

Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary planting day, north of Auckland © Peter Young, Fisheye Films

Fight for the Wild Film Synopsis - Episode 3: Battle

Community-led projects are leading the charge to halt biodiversity decline, while researchers make break-throughs in ways to remove predators and prevent reinvasion.

While bird song is receding across New Zealand’s mainland, hundreds of community-led projects are leading the charge to turn things around. On the North Island’s East Cape the government answers the call from iwi for help to save the decimated Raukūmara Forest, and in Wellington a dedicated group of urban trappers are taking on Miramar Peninsular with the vision of achieving the world’s first predator-free capital city.

Kea numbers continue to decline in the South Island and in the Perth Valley, Zero Invasive Predators (ZIP) make some break-throughs in their quest to remove predators and protect borders from reinvasion.

“By working together as backyards and communities, that gives us the opportunity to participate and it empowers us to take some ownership of the problem instead of leaving it for everybody else to deal with.” Kelvin Hastie

“When you start to see the level of activity and the intensity of activity and what's being achieved all over the country, we're all in our own little small way contributing to the Predator Free 2050.” Marguerite Vanderkolk

“I think it is a realistic goal.  Years and years ago, they didn't think it was possible to eradicate rats from islands that's now done all across the world.  And New Zealand's been a world leader in island eradications.  New Zealand is basically one big island.” Helen Blackie

“I don't think we can overstate how important it is that community are engaged in these projects.  They are the feet on the ground that bring the passion, they do the work.  And I think when you're trying to make change as well, you know, communities getting together and thinking about being a movement of change is super powerful.” Abbie Reynolds