Nelson’s upcoming “Stop the Drop” environmental rally

A guest post by “Spiderman”. 

Note that guest posts are offered by Your NZ to provide different information and opinions.


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.

8 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  June 16, 2017

    I have insufficient knowledge of this place or the pest control substance to comment usefully on this post at the moment, but I do want to say it is good to see a guest post.

    I’ve only ever done one here, it went well, generated a great deal of lively comment as I recall.

    We have some superb thinkers & writers among our regular & occasional commenters here. I’d love to see a guest post every now & then from any of them.

    • Hi Gezza,

      The topic is causing a bit of local controversy. Somebody has just distributed a flyer misrepresenting the position of the BVCG is an apparent attempt to discredit us. A link to the flyer has been posted at http://stopthedrop.kiwi

      ~ Spiderman ~

  2. John Schmidt

     /  June 16, 2017

    The pests win again. Its bad enough that pests have natural advantages over natives so we make it even easier for pests to even worse pests.

    • There’s an alternative where the pests don’t win – smart capture traps which provide a food source and nesting environment with the ability to close the front door when the pest collector does the rounds. Problem is that DOC has no tolerance attitude to pests that has just enough wiggle room to allow imperfect fences like at Zelandia.

  3. PDB

     /  June 16, 2017

    For balance…….

    “But general manager of the sanctuary, Hudson Dodd, says the bait, which is unattractive to a number of native species, is the only toxin available in New Zealand that can fully eradicate introduced pests, and in the 26.5 tonnes of bait they will drop, only a tiny fraction of it contains Brodifacoum – an amount he says is equivalent to a pound of butter.
    Hudson also says the resource consent comes with a list of 47 conditions to meet the concerns of affected parties.
    “Many of the consent conditions are in line, or stricter than, the code of practice, which will give comfort to the community,” he says.
    He also says the trust will be fully transparent about the process as it moves forward.
    The eradication process will involve three aerial drops of the bait, as well as hand-baiting”

    http://nelsonlive.co.nz/2016/05/approval-granted-bait-drop/

    Background: https://www.pressreader.com/new-zealand/nelson-mail/20170527/281749859304230

    On face-value and as a ‘one-off’ I think the drop looks justified for the long term benefits it will bring to the area.

  4. “…is the only toxin available in New Zealand that can fully eradicate introduced pests …”

    Problem is that the Deed of Trust for the BWS specifies “control or eradicate”. They’re not keeping to their own formal policy.

    “Hudson also says the resource consent comes with a list of 47 conditions to meet the concerns of affected parties.”

    The application for consent was partially surrendered. You can see how many conditions no longer apply in the following PDF:

    http://static.clonehost.net/stopthedrop/surrendered_consent_brodifacoum.pdf

    “He also says the trust will be fully transparent about the process as it moves forward.”

    That hasn’t been the case in the past. In a recent council hearing discussion was moved to a session in which the public were excluded.

    “The eradication process will involve three aerial drops of the bait, as well as hand-baiting”

    There are several legal arguments as to why it should not go ahead.

    “On face-value and as a ‘one-off’ I think the drop looks justified for the long term benefits it will bring to the area.”

    If it goes ahead then it’s unlikely to be a one-off. The fence runs through some very rugged terrain and slips have destroyed part of the fence in the past. Just recently a smaller slip was cleared about 100m from the entrance.

    • PDB

       /  June 16, 2017

      Yes, the fence obviously should be fully secured and future-proofed before any such drop takes place.

      • It really isn’t practical to do that. They’ve been leaving the grilles off the swales and culverts because they would get silted up and blocked in heavy rain.