Kiwibank Predator Free Schools announced

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Predator Free New Zealand Trust has selected the ten schools that will take part in the inaugural Kiwibank Predator Free Schools programme. Over 75 schools applied to be part of the programme and the Trust were impressed by the high calibre of applications and the exciting plans schools had to engage their students in the predator free vision.

Image credit: Paul Stanley-Ward

The high quality of the applications meant choosing the final ten was very difficult, as it meant turning away schools with great plans to make their school predator free.

Children are really important in the predator free vision. Research shows that empathy with nature grows out of children’s regular contact with the natural world. Children care deeply about the world they are going to inherit and are passionate about protecting New Zealand’s native species.

Schools have access to a lot of curriculum based materials but often lack the funding to be able to purchase equipment to give students a hands on experience. The Predator Free NZ Trust together with Kiwibank have launched Predator Free Schools to enable schools to trap in their own school yard.

The Kiwibank Predator Free Schools programme will see schools awarded a budget of $1,000 for traps and trapping equipment to give students a hand-on learning experience about the harm mammalian predators are causing our native species and the benefits of predator trapping.   Students will be able to detect what predators are in their school environment and where they occur; monitor the variety of the native species that live in their community and what can be done to help them; and place a network of traps around their school grounds to remove predators.

The schools selected will create a plan on how to detect predators and how to make their school predator free. The programme will start from Term 1, 2018.

The Trust will also be working with unsuccessful applicants to help connect them with existing resources and will encourage them and others to apply for our next round of funding.  The Trust aims to support more Kiwibank Predator Free Schools by the end of 2018.

Our 10 Kiwibank Predator Free Schools are: