The long recess grinds on, so, via RNZ:
Prime Minister John Key said rats, possums and stoats kill 25 million native birds a year.
He said the introduced pests also threatened the country’s economy and primary sector with a total cost of $3.3 billion a year.
More than 7000 hectares of the New Zealand mainland as well as more than 150 offshore islands were now completely free of predators, Mr Key said.
In addition a further 1 million hectares of conservation land were under sustained predator control.
The government will invest $28 million in a new joint venture company called Predator Free New Zealand Ltd.
The company will be responsible for identifying large, high-value predator control projects and attracting co-investors.
It will be set up by the beginning of next year.
The government will look to provide funding on a two-for-one basis, so for every $2 that local councils and the private sector put in the government will contribute another $1.
“This is the most ambitious conservation project attempted anywhere in the world, but we believe if we all work together as a country we can achieve it,” Mr Key said.
Pretty sure this will be the last we hear of this project ever again, unless someone somehow finds out that the money has all gone to a bunch of National cronies as Director’s payments.