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Predator Proof Fence Approved For Sanctuary

Predator Proof Fence Approved For Sanctuary

The Brook Waimarama Sanctuary has been granted resource consent for the 14km predator-proof fence that will create a 700ha native wildlife experience close to Nelson’s city centre.

The independent commissioner appointed by the Nelson City Council announced the decision last month, after hearings held in August. The period for any appeals to be lodged with the Environment Court has now passed without appeal, making the consents effective.


The consents cover the pest proof fence and an associated network of walking and operational 4WD quad bike tracks. Trust spokesman Derek Shaw said the groundwork for the consents had been a prime focus for the trust over the last two years, with a lot of input from trustees and specialist advisors.
 
“The smooth passing of the consents is a tribute to their careful planning and to the consultation we did before lodging the application,” he said. “We can now focus on achieving our vision of a sanctuary where indigenous plants and animals will be able to thrive in a predator-free environment to the benefit of local people and as an attraction for visitors.”


The trust is confident the chosen route will cause the least overall effect, with the fence well below the Dun Mountain Walkway to ensure its historic values are not compromised. Construction is based on the predator-proof fence developed for Wellington’s successful Karori Sanctuary.
 
Trust patron Philip Woollaston said the consent was great news for the sanctuary project.

“The optimism the consent gives us makes it a great time to be seeking the support we need to see the fence become a reality,” he said. “Planning the next phase of fundraising and sponsorship is already underway and having consent is reassuring for donors and the many members and volunteers who support the trust.”
 
Conditions of the consent include weaving the fence line to avoid significant trees and to enclose stands of rare hinau and mountain totara, weed clearance and ongoing weed control, and comprehensive revegetation including salvage and propagation of plant material from along the fence route.  All work is to be supervised by a qualified ecologist.  Other conditions relate to minimising visual effects and provision of additional bus and car parking.  
 
The commissioner, Camilla Owen, commented on the ‘manifest and significant’ benefits of the project. She said while there will be some disruption while the fence is constructed, ‘in the end a resource will be created which will be an enhancement of what is already present – the environment will be enhanced and preserved’.  
 
Members of the public wanting to hear more about the consent and what it means for the project are welcome to attend a meeting of the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust on Monday 16 November at 7pm in the NMIT student lounge.
 
Ends
 


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