Revealed: The New Zealand native bird Patrick Gower wants eradicated

The Project co-host Patrick Gower has revealed there's a New Zealand native bird he supports eradicating.

"I've never thought that I'd actually advocate for the killing of a native animal, but I am," Gower said on Monday. 

"You bloody annoying seagulls, you keep dive-bombing and we're coming for you."

His comments came after former Oamaru deputy mayor Dr Ron Sim appeared on The Project, saying the native red-billed gulls should be "exterminated".

Sim said the birds are polluting the town, and he wants to be the one who does something about it.

"It's actually been like a plague, and it's really like having rats with wings. As far as the local area is concerned, people are more important than having gulls that are coming around and polluting the area."

He believes it's a matter of keeping buildings clean because it's currently "an absolute mess".

His chosen eradication method is poison, since "we do that with other pests from time to time".

"There are methods of applying poison that are humane that we should be following up with."

He wants people to join him to do something about it, rather than "sitting on our hands" believing nothing can be done.

"Problems demand solutions."

The Department of Conservation said in a statement that since red-billed gulls are native to New Zealand, there are hefty penalties if they're killed.

"There are now less than 100,000 red-billed gulls left… hunting or killing absolutely protected wildlife carries a maximum penalty of up to two years' imprisonment or a fine of up to $100,000, or both," the statement said.

Waitaki District Councillor Colin Wollstein said the issue of seagulls isn't a council problem since the buildings they're on are privately owned.

"But the council is very keen to work with our ratepayers to try and resolve the problem," he added.