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Big boost to Brook Waimarama Sanctuary funds

Big boost to Brook Waimarama Sanctuary funds

Nelson’s Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust is a big step closer to creating a nationally significant wildlife conservation reserve, with the announcement of a $500,000 funding boost from the Lotteries Grants Board.

This means the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust is over halfway to its target of $4.7m for the 14km pest proof fence, pest eradication and the initial operating and overhead costs for the 700ha nature recovery project.

Brook Sanctuary General Manager Hudson Dodd says it is a huge boost to have gained this funding.

“This grant is very significant for the Trust in that it validates the sanctuary’s national significance,” he said. “It’s an important milestone toward funding for the fence project, since the Trust remains committed to accomplishing the fence construction without going into debt.”

Mr Dodd said the debt free status of the sanctuary project is a key factor that would ensure its ongoing viability and its accessibility to locals.

“The two local councils have acknowledged this project as a winner and both have allocated funding in their long term plans that is contingent on the Trust’s meeting our own fund raising targets,” he said. “We are now well on the way to reaching those targets and to building the pest proof fence without saddling ourselves with the debt that has dogged similar projects and has led to high entry prices.”

The grant was made through the Lottery World War One Commemorations, Environment and Heritage Committee, which stated that the application aligned well with their natural heritage priorities and fundingcriteria.

Nelson MP Nick Smith, who supported the funding application, said the grant was further evidence of the sanctuary project’s viability.

"It is a huge shot of confidence for the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Project to have secured $500,000 from the Lotteries Environment and Heritage Fund. This is the largest grant for Nelson in years from Lotteries and it recognises that this project has national as well as local significance.

"I wrote to Lotteries strongly backing this project because the loss of our native flora and fauna is New Zealand’s most challenging environmental issue. The legacy of this project will be the return of many birds and reptiles to Nelson, which is so important for a community that prides itself on its natural environment."

Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust Chairman Dr David Butler said, “The Lottery Grants Board funding has come at just the right time to reassure local supporters and sponsors, and to hearten the hundreds of trappers, track cutters and weeders who are giving their precious time to bring the sanctuary to reality.”

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