Concerned Nelson residents to fight proposed poison drop- Nelson Mail

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. Continue reading

Stop the Drop – Public Meeting 27-02-16


The Brook Valley Community Group

invites you to a


at the

Waimarama Community Gardens, Saturday 27February, 4 P.M.

Speakers: Cr. Tim Skinner
Tamika Simpson

Brief Background: An application has been lodged by the Sanctuary Trust to drop 24 tonnes of brodifacoum poison bait. Public notification has been denied, on the unjustifiable grounds that this will have a less than minor effect upon the environment. Your Council denies any ability to act. We think this a most unsatisfactory situation, for many reasons. Join us, to hear more.


Urgent notice – Your voice needed by this Friday.

What are your thoughts about 24tonne of poison bait being spread from a helicopter within 5km of the Nelson CBD?

Not 1080, no, this substance is more toxic, less humane, and more environmentally persistent than 1080. “DOC no longer uses brodifacoum widely on the mainland because of concerns about residues accumulating in non-target species.”

It’s secondary poisoning risk is higher, and has been known to kill kaka, robin, silver eye, weka, kingfisher, harriers, dotterel, duck, fern bird, petrel, gull, kakariki, kiwi, more pork, stilt, pukeko, plover, saddleback, shag, skua and tui. (And that’s just the native birds killed and tested positive for Brodifacoum, to list all animals at risk would take all day.)
The site for this proposed drop is of course the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary, home to a whole spectrum of indigenous fauna, some rare and endangered.

Unless you are an adjacent landowner, you will not be notified of this or given the chance to voice your concerns. There will be no public submissions, or hearing process.

However, concerned adjoining landowners need your support. If you want to voice your concerns, whatever you have to say can be included in the submission made by an “affected party”.

We want to challenge the notification, and open the discussion that effects may not be considered less than minor.

“Given the national threat status of several birds, the Nelson green gecko, the forest ringlet butterfly and two plant species listed in the AEE and either (potentially) present or to be introduced to the sanctuary, … the preservation or protection of resources in this environment is considered a matter of national importance” – Report commissioned by NCC.

If you want to help, please post your submission to by this Friday Jan 22nd 2016.

Remember when an Iwi Leader was caught with 5 dead birds late last year, and faced charges under the Wildlife Act?
Or in 2010, when those tourists posted videos of themselves hunting Kereru, and the outrage that ensued caused them to promptly flee the country?
Why is it suddenly OK to cause the death of an unknown number of native wildlife when you’re calling it conservation? Death by hunting is certainly more humane than death by Brodifacoum…

Conservation Training


This cartoon illustrates well one of many reasons I believe a poison free sanctuary has more to offer the conservation community than does the current approach.

Pest control in New Zealand is undoubtedly a challenging affair. There are certain realities it would be helpful to admit and accept in moving forward with the sanctuary vision that are not currently being addressed.

  1. even with pest proof ( or more accurately pest resistant fencing ) the complete exclusion of mice and rodents cannot be guaranteed. See;
  2. Known adverse effects:
  3. It is well understood that Brodifacoum causes adverse effects in native bird populations through secondary poisoning. It is highly persistent within the environment and within tissues of poisoned animals. This presents a threat to predatory and scavenging birds especially. As Brodifacoum is a slow acting poison, prey species such as rodents can be active and without symptoms for days to weeks after consuming baits.
  4. While invertebrates are not susceptible to poisoning they have been shown to retain poison residues for some time after bait application. This poses a risk of secondary poisoning to insectivorous and omnivorous bird species also.
  5. Reptiles can also be susceptible to Brodifacoum, with skinks having been found dead with significant Brodifacoum residues.  The Brook Sanctuary is home to a number of lizard species including the rare nelson gecko.
  6. While this programme may have the “additional benefits in reducing possums, rabbits, deer, goats and pigs” it is designed for the eradication of rodents specifically. The removal of other “unwanted mammalian species…. Are covered in a seperate plan”
  7. The extent of toxicity is not debated. The justification is that adverse effects on native wildlife will be “minor and temporary in nature”

With the sanctuary providing a home to rare species such as the nelson gecko and the NZ falcon, it should be considered wether the loss of any of these individuals can really considered minor.

There are many instances within the application report that discuss how the effects of Brodifacoum on ecosystems are not readily understood, and that further research is required. Such required research remains impossible when the strategy of every NZ conservation project mimics the others. By providing a toxin free environment, the sanctuary trust would have the opportunity to invite comparative research from all around the country.

For example, Stephenson, B. M; Minot, E. O. 2006. Breeding Biology of morepork, discusses how breeding success of morepork was lower in the year following Brodifacoum application, but cannot conclude if this was due to adverse effects from the poison application, or a result of a lower availability of rodents as a food source.

Much doubt exists over wether pest numbers can be brought to a level to allow for the recovery of native fauna witnessed within other sanctuaries. Ongoing trapping has proven an ineffective control method on mainland sanctuaries, as re incursions of pests often overwhelm trapping rates. However, intensive trapping for rodent eradication has not been attempted within a fenced sanctuary in which the reinvasion of pests has been dramatically reduced. It cannot conclusively be said that it cannot be done, and given the risk to wildlife there is certainly an arguement that it should be attempted.

Personally I am somewhat puzzled as to why the area has been trapped for the better part of the last decade. At present, trapping is on hold while the fence is constructed, so pests have been reinvading since construction began. And now the plan is to eradicate all pests, at whatever density they have returned to, via aerial poison drops. What was the point in reducing pest numbers, only to allow them to increase to be killed off by the application of mass toxins?

Is it enough to accept the things you cannot change? Or is this the time to change the things you cannot accept. Think about it. The current resource consent application allows for the poison programme to be delayed until 2017 if it cannot be conducted in 2016. I propose using that year in between closing the fence and the winter of 2017 to apply the best and most innovative pest control technology to investigate if pest numbers can be satisfactorily reduced without aerial poisons. If not, the option is still open for aerial control, and much could be learned about the realities of pest control in the meantime.

Please do share your views. The consent application process does not allow for community discussion on the matter, being of a “limited notification” type, with those limited submissions due Jan 22nd. But that is not to say the discussion should not be had.

I look forward to hearing your views, whatever they may be,

best wishes,



Poison Drop Resource Consent Application – Documents

Hello Brook Community,

as as you may well be aware, the Brook Sanctuary Trust has announced their intentions to conduct a poison drop within the fenced area once fence building is complete.

Below are the links to documents provided to me by the NCC regarding the Resource Consent Application made by the trust for the proposed aerial poison drops. Continue reading

Submission to draft Brook Recreation Reserve Management Plan – Moira Bauer

Below is my personal submission to the draft Brook Recreation Reserve Management Plan.
Its not as polished as I would have liked, sometimes life throws unexpected curve-balls that take your attention away from where you’ve planned to put it.. So be it! here it is.


Submission to the Brook Recreation Reserve Management Plan

The Brook Valley is a quiet, peaceful, residential neighbourhood, shrouded in green hills, with a distinct character of tranquility. The setting is perfect for a wildlife sanctuary, with its close proximity to the both the Nelson CBD, and conservation reserve land stretching from the Brook over to the Aniseed, and on to meet the Richmond Ranges.

Continue reading

The fate of an idea: Cawthron Park Forestry – Nelson Mail

Nelson Mail – Saturday, August 1,2015

by Christopher St Johanaser 

Two weeks ago, I encouraged readers to look critically at the Council’s situation with regard to a forestry block at the head of the Brook. I suggested that the Nelson spirit could be rallied to replant it as a mixed shelterwood forest, employing our superb local expertise and volunteers to develop a forest that would be a test-bed for the future, an example to the world. The timing is perfect, as there is an imminent need for a new Forestry Strategy. The Council has decided in the interim to proceed forthwith to log these 25 hectares. The proceeds will apparently be devoured by an existing $2.1 million debt in their Forestry Account.

Continue reading

Letter to the Editor – Nelson Mail , Wed June 17

Dear Sir/Madam,

Cr. Barker showed good judgement at the Council meeting on Thursday 11th June. He declined to vote in debate over the Draft Brook Recreation Reserve Management Plan. This was to avoid contaminating the independence of his role as one of a Panel to hear submissions on the Plan. Unfortunately, a correspondingly poor judgement was demonstrated by Crs. Noonan, McGurk and Matheson, also proposed members of this Panel. They demonstrated commitment to Vision 1 with their votes. What hope then for any independent perspective from them, any willingness, let alone ability, to engage with contrary views? Other panelists should now be found.

Regrettably, this matter demonstrates yet again the willingness this Council in general has shown to disregard proprieties in favour of vested interests.

If Cr. Lawrey and the Mayor continue to find the prospect of a gondola ‘very exciting’ perhaps they would appreciate being restrained, not to say tied down, to curb an unwarranted enthusiasm for a proposition still without a business case and certain to be high-risk. A wildlife sanctuary is no place for this kind of commercial venture. “Stars in their eyes”, says Cr. Skinner, and he is right.

Keeping the faith,

Christopher St Johanser
Brook Valley Community Group

Unite and Conquer – Meeting Sat 28th March

Greetings SavetheBrook followers,

There is something happening that you should be aware of.
We at the Brook Valley Community group have hatched a plan to combine with other community groups around Nelson, and are calling for activists / people willing to be actively involved, to unite our resources to hold the Council accountable to its citizens!
There seems to be some systemic mismanagement ongoing within our council, and as its’ citizens and therefore owners we need to do something about it if we want to continue to play a part in how this city grows and develops.
This meeting will be looking at broader issues than the Brook Camp, but be assured the Brook will feature heavily, as what is happening in this valley is generating concern within greater Nelson area also.
With that, I would like to heartily invite you all to attend our first meeting on Saturday 28th March, 3pm, in the Brook Camp lounge.
If your interested but cant attend, just contact us at .
Spread the word!

Enough divide and conquer tactics, time to Unite and Conquer!

Storm Fallout…


The Nelson Residents Association predicted this slippage event over a year ago and notified Council, now after this rain damage the feedback has started. Both Councils have invested in the fence, and both may be asked to contribute more money… that means the ratepayers!

If you are a ratepayer, supporter of the Brook Sanctuary, a mountain biker or appreciate the Great Taste Trail write to the newspaper and your council with your concerns.

Here is a Letter to the Editor from Bryce Buckland:

It’s started. Just as many predicted it would. The first rain has caused a 22 meter section of the historic 3rd House track to collapse, crashing over the scarf made for the Brook pest proof fence.

As its 2.8 kilometers from 4 corners, with difficult machinery access, it will not be simple to make 3rd House track usable again. As well, the Sanctuary fence cannot be erected until the slip and huge trees are all removed.

This area of Brook Fence is cut through unstable terrain with a back slope up to 65 degrees. The probability of slope failure was obvious to most and the fence should not have been allowed anywhere near 3rd House track.

I would like to ask councilor Davies, will Brook Sanctuary meet a portion of theses repair costs? If, as I suspect, the answer is nil, it means Nelson ratepayers will pay the cost of damage. With serious weather events now predicted by NIWA to be a regular occurrence, and the fence undercutting the entire 3rd house track, slip damage will continue and Ratepayers can brace themselves for the bill.

Or, have we just witnessed the beginning of the end of the Historic track to 3rd house?

Further comments by Bryce:

Needless to say I am in the “I told them so” mode and I am really annoyed by this first collapse of the Dunn Trail. I sent my letter to the Nelson mail last night. I hope that others will do the same and write to the Mail.

You are quite right about them ignoring the warnings.

The earthworks for the fence line are finished. The contractors were to have finished yesterday and others can be heard banging in fence posts further down from the 4 corners. The cut into the hill side below the 3rd house track is pretty scary. The top side is around 10 meters or more above the fence track, and it’s far too steep to climb down it. It is also overhung with huge Beech trees and they are ready to fall.

I’ve been told that mesh for the fence is not woven mesh. They went for the cheaper option of a welded mesh fence. I have been told that as this gets a bit of corrosion on it, with a bit of age and significant tension on the wires and it starts to un-weld and just a bang with a branch will see wires detach from the welds and the whole mesh simply flies to bits.

The great taste trail may now become unusable and the chaos is just starting. Wait and see what happens when we get a “significant” rainfall event.

Yes the carnage to the historical third house track has begun.

I have had a look at the damage and its 2.8km up the 3rd house track from the 4 corners intersection. The slip has taken out 22 meters of the third house track and slips over the scarf cut for the fence. Had the fence been in place it would have been wiped out at that spot.

This after the very first spell of rain since the fence line cut was made. I have no idea how the council can repair this piece as it will keep slipping. It also means the fence cannot be put in place at this point until the entire slip is removed. 50meters by 20 meters and between 3 and 10 meters high with big trees in it will create a lot of work for the Council to fix all at ratepayers expense.

I am really concerned that this may be the beginning of the end for the third house track.

Will you and others write to Nelson Mail?

Regards Bryce

  • Retrieved from the Facebook Page of The Nelson Residents Association. – – 11/03/2015

Future of Brook for Discussion – Nelson Mail.

Bill Moore

The Nelson Mail14 Feb 2015

The future of the Brook Valley Holiday Park and the surrounding recreation reserve is to be discussed at a public meeting called by the Nelson City Council.
The meeting, beginning on Tuesday at 5pm in the council chamber, will update those interested in the progress of a draft Brook Recreation Reserve Management Plan.
Continue reading

Brook Recreation Reserve Management Plan

Nelson City Council is beginning the process of preparing a management plan which will define the activities that can take place within the Brook Recreation Reserve.

This Council-owned land includes the Brook Motor Camp but does not include the reserve area currently leased to the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust for a fenced wildlife sanctuary.

Council is seeking written suggestions from the public about how the reserve should be used in the future, what needs protection on the site and how the setting could best serve both residents and visitors.

This information will help guide the development of a draft Brook Recreation Reserve Management Plan. Other public consultation processes are also planned for early 2015. The public will be able to provide submissions on the draft management plan in March and April next year. A panel will also hear oral submissions on the draft plan before making recommendations to Council about its final content.

Continue reading

Suggestions called for Brook Recreation Reserve

Published 25 Nov 2014

Nelson City Council is beginning the process of preparing a management plan, which will define the activities that can take place within the Brook Recreation Reserve.

This Council-owned land includes the Brook Motor Camp, but does not include the reserve area currently leased to the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust for a fenced wildlife sanctuary.

Council is seeking written suggestions from the public about how the reserve should be used in the future, what needs protection on the site and how the setting could best serve both Nelsonians and visitors to the region.

Continue reading

Sanctuary’s anti-pest fence gets final tick

Last updated 12:27 10/06/2014

The Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust has the final go-ahead to start building its 14-kilometre pest-proof fence.

Nelson City Council has approved a 33-year lease of 711ha of the Brook Conservation Reserve to the trust.

Trust acting chairman Derek Shaw said today the project was a community-driven initiative since its birth 12 years ago. Continue reading

Report favours Brook Valley gondola proposal

Figures stack up technically and financially


Last updated 12:58 04/06/2014

A feasibility study on a proposed Nelson gondola has given its backers confidence to press on with the project.

The Nelson Cycle Lift Society, which is behind the proposed gondola project from the Brook Valley to Fringed Hill, undertook the study with a $15,000 grant from the Nelson City Council.

The study has found the project initially sound geologically, economically and in its engineering.

Continue reading

Holiday park’s revival is ‘still possible’ – by Nelson Mail

Holiday park’s revival is ‘still possible’

Last updated 11:16 29/05/2014

A Brook Valley Holiday Park resident says the mayor is happy to discuss re-opening the camp, and has held a meeting of residents and interested people to seek support.

Moira Bauer, who has lived in the camp since the beginning of the year, made a presentation to the council’s community services committee a fortnight ago, on behalf of the Brook Valley Community Group.

Continue reading

Uncertainty over Brook camp closure – by Nelson Mail


The Nelson City Council appears to be pulling back from closing the Brook Valley Holiday Park, instead taking a broader look at the area and all the related interests and issues.

Council staff have been looking at the situation since Mayor Rachel Reese stepped in at the end of March and sent the closure proposal back to the community services committee.

Continue reading

Address to Council

Presentation to Council at the Community Services Committee Public Forum, May 15th 2014.

Good afternoon,

My name is Moira and I am here on behalf of the Brook Valley Community group to speak about the future of the Brook Valley Holiday Park.

We are here because we would like to see the camp reopened, and because we fear there is a hidden agenda driving the closure proposal. We’re not sure who’s driving it, but it is clear that the original report misrepresented information surrounding the camp to the council, so we would just like to present the information we have found to those in charge of considering the camps future.

Continue reading

Gondola moves step higher – by Nelson Mail

Last updated 12:45 06/05/2014

A report from the feasibility study for a proposed gondola in Nelson has been sent to Nelson mayor Rachel Reese and Nelson City Council chief executive Clare Hadley for review.

“The report has been given to the mayor and chief executive.

“We are seeking feedback before further announcements are made, but in summary it is looking very, very positive and exciting.” said Jo Rainey, the man behind the idea.
Continue reading

Meeting follow up from council

Yet more bad decisions, misinformation and mistruths.

Opus NZ (international asset managers), hired by the Brook Waimarama Trust, contracted NCE (Nelson Consulting Engineers) to undertake the geotech survey. Interestingly, sources reveal that

“there is absolutely no reason why the DOC/NMIT buildings cannot be used where they are”

already sited at the entrance to The Brook Conservation Reserve.

It is widely known that the ground within the campsite is unsuitable due to slippage, slumping and ground water present; aside from the fact that it was the main camping area of the campsite before it was closed!

A copy of the full and unbiased ground survey reports was requested but nothing has been forthcoming.

Continue reading

Notes on a Meeting with the Mayor

On Saturday April 12th , the residents of the campground had an opportunity to attend a meeting with the mayor, the general manager of the Brook trust, the parks and reserves manager, and councillor Kate Fulton, who chaired the meeting. This was designed to resolve existing confusions about what was to happen with the Brook Campground after the council retracted its closure proposal on the day of public consultation, and then potsed great big “CLOSED” signs onto the camp Entrance, seeminingly formalising a decision that hadnt been made yet.

Continue reading

Reese seeking public office – by Nelson Mail


$185,000 revamp to improve access to mayor


Nelson city’s mayoral office and reception area is to get an $185,000 upgrade.

Nelson City Council chief executive Clare Hadley proposed the upgrade because the floor with the mayor’s office was inaccessible and looking worse for wear.

People visiting the mayor’s office go to customer service on the ground level.

Staff then ring the mayor’s receptionist to collect guests and take them through security and up stairs to the mayor’s reception area.

The new space will allow the public to go straight to the mayor’s reception area.

Continue reading