After 14 years of planning, four years of fundraising and a “herculean effort”, the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary fence is finally complete and today, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key was in Nelson to officially open the sanctuary.
Over 100 locals gathered around the sanctuary information centre as the trust’s patron and general manager gave speeches alongside John Key, Rachel Reese and Richard Kempthorne.
The speeches were followed by the unveiling of a plaque, John Key’s symbolic closing of the fence, the signing of the guest book and a mingling time in which all generations got the chance to converse with the Prime Minister.
“I came here in 2008…and at the time I remember thinking that if you want to have big results and big outcomes you have to have big dreams and that is ultimately what has happened here.
“You’ve had a local community who had a great vision for what can happen here, has had the support of a lot of generous people in terms of money and time and you’ve put together what is a world-class sanctuary.”
Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust General Manager, Hudson Dodd says he is beyond happy that the fence is completed.
“We’ve actually got a 14.5km pest proof fence on the ground enclosing 7000ha, so we can get on with the fun part of the project, starting to restore the ecosystem and bring back the vanished species that used to call these hills home.”
The opening was protested by a group of locals, to see the video, Click Here.