A pest-free NZ?
On 13 February 2012 the late Sir Paul Callaghan held his last public talk: The sanctuary vision and its importance for New Zealand. In this eloquent and compelling presentation, just one month before his death, Sir Paul put forward a vision for a predator-free New Zealand.
“Let’s get rid of the lot. Let’s get rid of all the damn mustelids, all the rats, all the possums, from the mainland islands of New Zealand. We start with Rakiura [Stewart Island]. And we work our way up. We can do this. We know how to do it.”
“We get told it’s too hard, that it’s crazy. But that’s rubbish; in the 1970s nobody believed we could get rats off 16 hectares but in 2005 we got them off 11,300 hectares, on Campbell Island. We have the technology, we have the science, we certainly have the urgency, and the world is watching.”
Rebecca Priestley wrote for New Zealand Listener:
“Rather than being crazy, this could be an idea whose time has come. [...] As Callaghan said at the end of his lecture, ‘It’s crazy and ambitious but I think it might be worth a shot.’”
- YouTube recording of Sir Paul’s final lecture, held at Victoria University
- NZ Listener’s article Transit forum: the pest-free imperative (includes links to other articles)