New Zealand needs to kill the cats to go predator-free - Duncan Garner

Duncan Garner has called for an end to keeping cats as pets, saying it will be impossible for New Zealand to become predator-free while cats remain alive.

The AM Show host said the capital should be the first to consider getting rid of the pets as it plans to become predator-free.

"We are going to have to make cats a predator and cats have to go, from Wellington to start with," he said.

Garner clarified he wasn't looking for a mass cat cull straight away, but something needs to be done to get rid of them if New Zealand wants to rid itself of predators.

"They [the Government] want kiwi to return to the cities... If that's the case, you've got to kill the cats, you've got to cull them, get rid of them," he said.

"This is also true of what the Greens think. Eugenie Sage, who's the conservation minister, said yesterday when your cat dies you don't replace it. We're not talking about going out there with a mass cull, we're talking about just getting rid of them slowly. You do not replace your cat."

News reader Amanda Gillies strongly disagreed and said cats were clearly important to a lot of people and, on top of that, the goal of becoming predator-free is not reasonable.

"I actually think the predator-free thing is a bit of a joke. I think it's a bit unethical, I think it's unworkable and too expensive," she said.

But Garner was not swayed and said he had come around to former TOP Party leader Gareth Morgan's way of thinking on the topic.

"I thought Gareth Morgan was nuts on this and then I went away and did a bit of research and he's right," Garner said.