Wenita and our largest shareholder New Forests have partnered with Predator Free Dunedin to increase protection for native biodiversity.
Predator Free Dunedin is a conservation collective of more than 20 organisations working to protect native biodiversity and strengthen communities. Its members and delivery partners share a long-term vision to get rid of rats, possums and stoats from Dunedin’s urban and rural landscapes by 2050.
The funding from Wenita/New Forests will see a network of mustelid traps through our Berwick, Maungatua and Mt Allan properties, extending into Silverstream — a treasured conservation area valued by local wildlife and communities. The network will lay the foundation for further expansion of Predator Free Dunedin’s operations to the south, creating a “stepping stone” for the future. Trapping in these areas will protect threatened wildlife and ecosystems including the fernbird/mātātā and unique flightless alpine insects — some of which are found nowhere else in the world.
Wenita chief executive David Cormack says birds that live, hunt and visit our forests also spend time in the wider Dunedin area so there is a connectivity between our forests and the city. Wenita is not just funding the work in our forest estate – we are also funding work on public land outside our boundaries. The network of traps will help create an enhanced wild pathway for native birds to safely move through the landscape.
The support will also allow possum control in Mt Allan and Silverstream, building on existing efforts by local communities and allowing Predator Free Dunedin to increase its operational area by 30,000 hectares.
Predator Free Dunedin project lead Rhys Millar says Wenita and New Forests are demonstrating immense leadership and their support lays a very strong foundation for Predator Free Dunedin to achieve its vision.
“Wenita’s contribution feeds into a wider community effort to target introduced predators and means we can extend into new parts of Dunedin,” Rhys says. “This will have major benefits for native wildlife in Dunedin. More traps will see treasured birds like kākā, robin and the New Zealand falcon/kārearea flourish.”
Wenita is proud to be providing leadership for the project to continue its success.
“This highlights the important role that healthy plantation forests have for the wellbeing of our local communities and wildlife,” David says.
He says the partnership complements the work Wenita does for its certification with the FSC® (Forestry Stewardship Council), by protecting native wildlife and preserving high-conservation-value habitats.
“Wenita values the environment we are fortunate to work in, and we aim to minimise any adverse effects on the environment from our work and protect the many species which co-exist with our operations.

  • The image at the top of this story shows the Wenita/New Forests-sponsored expansion areas – Berwick in blue, Maungatua in purple, Mt Allan in pink and Silverpeaks (public land) in green.