18 Jan 2020

Elizabeth of Tawa: teen environmentalist takes on predators

From The Weekend, 11:06 am on 18 January 2020

Self-described 'bird nerd' Elizabeth Werner is working to eradicate predators in her Wellington neighbourhood.

Last year, the 18-year-old university student set up a trapping club at her old high school Tawa College. Currently, she's a committee member of Pest Free Tawa.

As a young child, Elizabeth loved visiting Zealandia and after seeing predator traps there, had the idea to trap in own community.

She got her first predator trap for her birthday started trying to enlist friends to join in.

Some weren't keen on touching traps, so Elizabeth created Pest Free Tawa College as a club that welcomed people to contribute all kinds of skills.

Pest Free Tawa College – which is still active – has a Māori cultural advisor, a photographer and digital designers who did the logo, she says.

Elizabeth Werner has just finished her first year studying for a double Science Major in Ecology and Biodiversity and Environmental Studies. She hopes to eventually work as a science communicator – or a kākāpō ranger.