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Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has congratulated the sixth Porirua suburb to join the predator free movement, boosting the number of city residents actively trapping rats to more than 500.

“Today Titahi Bay joins the fold and adds its efforts to the hundreds of Porirua residents who’ve already joined the Predator Free 2050 cause and been converted to rat killers over the past year,” Ms Barry says.

“The predator-free momentum in Porirua is tremendous, symbolising how far we’ve come since New Zealand’s Predator Free 2050 goal was announced just a year ago.”

“Backyard trapping is a huge part of making New Zealand of rat, possum and stoat free. Yet another predator-free suburb kicking off shows just how much enthusiasm there is from communities to get behind the idea.”

Titahi Bay locals follow residents in Plimmerton, Mana/Cambourne, Pukerua Bay, Papakowhai and Golden Gate who already have traps in their backyards.

“If we can make the Porirua harbour edge predator free native birds and lizards will return to people’s gardens where it’ll be safe for them,” Ms Barry says.

“The initiatives in Porirua are a great example of communities picking up the predator-free vision and running with it.”

“DOC has set up a team of nine Predator Free Community Rangers, backed with a contestable fund of $300,000. Their job is to use their expertise and skills to help communities like Titahi Bay scale up efforts, commit people to the cause and coordinate plans.”

With support from local DOC and Porirua City Council staff, community organisers supply traps and advice to their neighbours to control pests in their backyards.

“The number of predators caught is recorded centrally and residents see the rewards of fewer rats around their properties,” Ms Barry says.

“Up to 70 Titahi Bay residents will be supplied with free traps at today’s launch at the Titahi Bay Baptist Church at 10.”

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