WATCH: Louis Davis - "Tutu, a solution to the feral goat problem"

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Stoats, ferrets, or possums may immediately spring to mind when you think of New Zealand’s pests, but as Scotts College student Louis Davis explains, they aren’t the only ones wreaking havoc on our natural landscape.

Feral goats, found now in all three of our main islands, with population numbers estimated in the hundreds of thousands, are causing serious damage to native trees and plants with their tough horns, trampling hoofs and ripping teeth.

Current methods of controlling the feral goat population are either too expensive, logistically complicated or chemically hazardous. However, Davis believes he has the solution.

Click here to watch his presentation at this years Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards, where he makes the case for the mass planting of the toxic native Tutu plant as the most effective method of dealing with a goat problem spiraling out of control.

WATCH: Bronwyn Wilde - “Food Chain - Improving Food Safety Using Blockchain Technology”

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“Globally, The World Health Organisation estimates that food born illnesses affect one in ten people a year, while in 2009, the cost to New Zealand of the world’s six most common food-born illnesses was 161 million dollars. Meanwhile, the total value of our food waste annually is over half a billion dollars, with 30-50% of food never reaching human stomachs.”

These rather alarming statistics kicked off Auckland University student Bronwyne Wilde’s impressive presentation at this years Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards.

Click here to see Bronwyn explain how a system emphasising ‘traceability, transparency and trust’ may be the answer to this worrying dilemma.

WATCH: Eira Beverley-Stone - "Vertical Farming: Food for Thought"

As the world population grows steadily toward its threshold, developing more sustainable, space conscious methods of food production has become a top priority.

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For a time now, researchers have been investigating the possibilities of ‘vertical farming’, a practise by which the products of agriculture are grown in vertically stacked layers in order to maximise land space, negate the effects of variable climates on production and prevent the further degradation of global natural habitats.

For New Zealand, this system could be of monumental benefit, solving persisting issues with kiwi food production and providing a boon to the economy.

In her presentation at this years Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Awards, Rangiora student Eira Beverley-Stone broke down the complex science of vertical farming and offered it as the way forward in New Zealand’s agricultural future.

Watch Eira’s presentation here