Last updated 13:06, March 7 2016
Residents in Nelson’s Brook Valley have vowed to take legal action if the application to drop poison in the Brook Sanctuary gains consent.
The Brook Valley Community Group has become an incorporated society so they can apply to the environmental legal assistance fund for help with the costs of preparing a case to to the Environment Court.
A meeting of the Brook Valley Community Group drew more than 50 people to share their concerns about the consent application process for the aerial brodifacoum drop planned by the Brook Waimarama Trust.
Brook Valley Community Group chair Christopher St Johanser said residents and the community had been shut out of the resource consent process and they were concerned about the lack of public consultation.
“I think it fair to say that the more than 50 people present at the meeting are outraged; by the prospect of the widespread death of wildlife, which may well be illegal under the Wildlife Act —we are investigating — the inhumaneness of that death and the injustice of the process.”
The adjoining landowners who had not given their support for the planned operation had a chance to speak at a hearing on April 6.
Nelson City Council group manager strategy and environment Clare Barton said the resource consent proposal had not been publicly notified as the environmental assessment determined that the poison drop would have minimal environmental effects.
Public notification was only required if the activity was likely to have adverse effects on the environment that were more than minor.
The independent commissioner concluded that public notification was not required as effects on the environment are likely to be minor, Barton said.
Nelson City Councillor Tim Skinner said as a resident and a councillor, he was concerned about the proposed poison drop.
He said many residents were rightfully concerned about the effects the poison would have and wanted a open process that wasn’t bias.
“It’s not just the Brook residents its people across the region who are horrified,” he said.
“Even if you were dropping 24 tonnes of icing sugar on the place it would have an effect.”
The Nelson SPCA made a submission to the council in January which said they were “categorically opposed” to the consent being granted as the poison would bring suffering and death to many animals.
SPCA chairman Stuart Walker said a technical member of staff would be supporting the adjoining landowners who opposed the poison drop at the hearing on April 6.
Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust general manager Hudson Dodd said the trust had not been invited to the Brook Valley Community Group meeting held on February 27.
He said in the past he had contacted the group offering to hear their concerns and respond but they had declined.
In regards to the SPCA’s involvement, he said he appreciated their concern about animal welfare and the humaneness of poisons.
“If the SPCA feel strongly about the use of brodifacoum, there is a wider issue in that it is readily available on shop shelves across New Zealand and it can be purchased for residential and commercial use, I suggest that is where they focus their attention,” he said.
- Stuff retrieved from http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/77397155/concerned-nelson-residents-to-fight-proposed-poison-drop 14-03-2016