Enhancing the Halo are committed to the goal of a Predator Free Wellington. We held a focus group earlier this week to get feedback from people who hadn’t trapped and those who had to hear about how we can make the whole process easier. Thanks to all those that came along, it was great to meet you all and hear your thoughts.
It is really clear to us that to reach out to Wellingtonians we have to raise the profile of Enhancing the Halo and particularly the trapping side of things. Some people hadn’t even seen our flow chart for trap selection, and didn’t know about our subsidised traps or how to get the subsidy (use the code PESTBUSTER).
We have recently created a Facebook page to help to encourage people to share their experiences, and upload shots of trapped animals etc. These could be run by a character, like a cheeky Kaka. Perhaps a Twitter account would also help. We want people to share their photos, stories and successes so that we can build up some positive role models for trapping. We also need to build awareness of why trapping is important, by providing more information on the dangers posed by predators, perhaps using photos and video.
A number of ideas were put forward where business partners could help Enhance the Halo. The idea of swapping a rat for a beer or wine was raised. Perhaps a competition for kids where they got an entry for every predator killed. It was also suggested that traps could come with a free pair of rubber gloves so people could use them to clean out the trap.
University students make up a lot of the halo area, and they could be harnessed in the trapping programme. Ecology students could be a particular target. A session on trapping during orientation and a trap share scheme may help achieve this. This is also where they swap a rat for beer incentive could really gain traction. We may be able to engage other groups in a similar fashion.
There are also a lot of ways we can make the most of the committed halo households that we already have signed up. We can provide them information to pass on to people, and a map of halo households might help people connect. The concept of Halo Ambassadors has been raised as a way to engage people to spread the word.
The issue of trap pick up and retail was also discussed at length. Up until now we have been using Otari-Wilton as a pick up point but this will need to be easier for people if we are to get wider pick up. Possibilities raised include Zealandia, using a courier/ drop off van, community centres, garden centres, and even supermarkets. We will approach some of these, but if Halo households have contact feel free to explore this issue. WCC Councillor Andy Foster was also in attendance and undertook talking to the Council about using their offices as pick up points.