Recenty weeks have seen an increase in activity of Nelson activists opposed to the planned posioning of the Brook Valley catchment by the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary. The Sanctuary plans to use approx 26 tonnes of bait laced with brodifacoum to eliminate pest species within the 715 hectare fenced off area. The plan involves the aerial delivery of the bait, with all wildlife in the Sanctuary susceptible to posioning. Brodifacoum is an anticoagulant which is used in rat posion in New Zealand, and is worse than 10-80 in terms of the suffering inflicted upon posioned animals.
The terrain of the Brook Valley catchment is rugged with the fence running along slopes of up to 50 degrees. One area of the fence was destroyed by a slip and repairing it involved cutting into the bank, increasing the possibility of further slips. Water runoff has been a problem for the fence with the swales and culverts being left open in order to avoid being blocked by silt in heavy rain.
Allegations of conflict of interest have been fuelled by the lack of transparency of the Nelson City Council, which moved deliberations about the Sanctuary to a session in which public access was restricted. Nelson's renown environmental lawyer Sue Gray has agreed to consult with the Brook Valley Community Group in order to pursue legal means of stopping the poisioning from taking place. As part of its campaign to stop the posioning the group will be distributing flyers and holding a public march up Trafalagar Street. The group's website http://stopthedrop.kiwi has links to Facebook pages and resources for people who want to support the cause.