Christchurch retiree's 'very efficient' pest traps helping fight for environment

New Zealand has a secret weapon in the war against introduced pests, and it's grey-powered.

A Christchurch retiree with spare time on his hands decided to join the fight for the environment by building pest traps.

Lynn Andrews' team may be retirees - but they're still doing the mahi, turning the Charles Upham Retirement Village Shed into a trap-making, pest eradicating, hive of activity.

"They are very disciplined and very efficient," Andrews said.

The idea for the initiative came to Andrews in a brainstorm four years ago and, with 600 traps already under his belt, he's not slowing down.

Local suppliers provide the wood, while village locals bring the banter.

"We get on well together, we have a great time and when we finish we all go and have a beer together," trap-maker Mike Cherry explained.

And their efforts are making a difference in bird numbers.

"Total pests we've caught this year so far are 304, Ryman donated 10 traps to us and I'd estimate we've caught about 30 predators in the traps they've made," said Summit Rd Society, Ohinetahi trapping coordinator Murray Smith.

The traps go to conservation groups across the region and the model is so successful it's making waves nationwide.

"What we're endeavouring now is Auckland, Whangarei and Hamilton villages joining in," said Ryman Healthcare's Alan Wood.

Andrews' hub brings people together.

"If you don't come and do something like this, we're sitting at home doing nothing," said trap-maker Ross Stewart.

Gwenda Johnson agreed: "I like working with my hands, this is better than a lot of girly stuff," she said.