An innovative scheme will supercharge efforts towards Aotearoa New Zealand becoming
Predator Free by 2050 and provide training for up to 51 apprentices, Minister of Conservation
Kiritapu Allan says.
Supported by $4.5 million of Jobs for Nature funding, the scheme is designed and delivered by
the Predator Free New Zealand Trust. It will increase the number of experienced predator
control specialists by funding apprenticeships across the country through partnerships with
specialist pest control companies, eco-sanctuaries, and large landscape scale projects. Support
staff will also be employed to coordinate the programme.
“The Predator Free apprentice scheme is a fantastic example of how the programme can help
to protect nature, create nature-based jobs, and deliver a lasting conservation legacy in
communities,” Kiritapu Allan said.
It is expected apprentices will come from a range of backgrounds and experiences, and jobs will
be targeted at those who are looking for work and wishing to re-train in predator control and
They will be placed with experienced practitioners to undergo a two-year training programme
with the aim of establishing a career in animal pest management.
During their apprenticeship they will complete the NZQA Certificate in Pest Operations (Level
3), various other industry qualifications, and learn directly from experienced pest control
specialists. They will also provide local on-the-ground support to conservation community
groups, landowners, and other projects.
Predator Free New Zealand Trust’s General Manager Jessi Morgan said that New Zealand has
the highest rate of threatened species in the world.
“We formed the Predator Free NZ Trust too encourage, support and connect New Zealanders in
their efforts to control and remove introduced predators (including rats, possums, mustelids and
feral cats) from Aotearoa so our native species can thrive.”
In addition to apprentices, up to four support roles will be created to oversee the programme
“This is a really exciting initiative,” Kiritapu Allan said. “It is about helping local economic growth
and providing much-needed career opportunities in our post-Covid world.”
“By increasing the number of predator control specialists in the field we can supercharge the
important work already being undertaken by other agencies, community groups, and
Apprenticeships will be advertised locally by the host organisations. Some candidates will also
be identified through local networks in affected communities. Jobs in the support team will be
advertised through the Predator Free New Zealand Trust.
Media contact: Julie Jacobson 021 806 085
The Government’s Jobs for Nature programme is a $1.245 billion investment in the creation of
11,000 nature-based jobs. As a part of this programme the Department of Conservation will
allocate $500 million to partners projects that will create 6,000 nature-based jobs over a four-
The Predator Free New Zealand Trust is a private charitable organisation established to
encourage, support, and connect New Zealanders in their efforts to control and remove
introduced predators (including rats, possums, and mustelids), from Aotearoa with the overall
goal of restoring thriving native biodiversity.
The Trust works with individuals, landowners, community groups and agencies to inspire action,
provide access to best practice predator control and make it easy to buy equipment.