Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust chair Dave Butler.

$2 million needed for fence

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The Brook Waimarama Sanctuary will have a “transformational effect” on Nelson and those behind it hope the community will help make it happen.
The sanctuary’s trust needs another $2 million to build a 14 kilometre fence around the 700 hectare sanctuary, deep in the Brook valley. It’s hoping to raise half of that through donations from Nelson businesses, schools, service clubs and families from its fundraising campaign called Get Behind the Fence. It is hoped that groups and people will sponsor a fence post, each of which will have a plaque, naming the donor. Prices range from $100 to $5000.
“We hope people will donate and in the process take real ownership of the sanctuary,” says the trust’s general manager Hudson Dodd.
The trust has already raised $2.8 million of its $4.7 million target and says the final $1 million will come from corporate sponsorship, grants and central government.
Hudson says the fence will have a huge impact on Nelson with native birds and other species inevitably finding their way into Richmond, Stoke and Nelson. “We genuinely believe it will have a transformational effect on Nelson. As soon as the fence goes up the species already there will begin to recover before we even get into the businesses of bringing in other rare species, so Nelson will see an impact right away.”
Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith says the sanctuary reinforces Nelson’s proud heritage in environmental leadership.
“The environmental benefit of this sanctuary is that it will enable native birds that have been absent for decades to be seen again in Nelson gardens. It will also provide an economic benefit for our tourism industry by giving visitors an opportunity to see our own special birds in their natural setting rather than in a zoo.”
The sanctuary will be a safe haven for endangered birdlife including the New Zealand falcon, yellow-crowned parakeets, weka and robins. The pest-free environment will also benefit the more than 250 species of native flora and fauna, including mature beech forest and occasional huge podocarps.
Hudson Dodd says he hopes to have the money raised and earth broken for the fence by the end of the year.
“In the first three weeks of the campaign we’ve already seen 100 fence posts sponsored, generating $30,000 in funding toward the fence. People are excited to see the light at the end of the tunnel for fund raising. It goes to show that Nelsonians recognise the great benefits this project will bring to the region.”