A herd of goats had taken over an Atawhai suburb and were causing havoc in gardens. Photo Sara Hollyman.

Neighbours take goat issue ‘into own hands’


The goat population of an Atawhai subdivision seems to have dwindled after complaints that the feral creatures had taken over the neighbourhood.

After the Nelson Weekly reported the story last week several locals suggested that they might be able to take care of the problem.

A gang of about 20 goats had been jumping into properties and destroying gardens. The goats would regularly trot down the road.

Initially it was unclear which agency had jurisdiction over managing the problem as the goats were breeding on private property and they were feral rather than livestock.

However, residents have been contacted this week by Nelson City Council who have arranged a meeting to discuss the on-going management of the goat problem which one neighbour says is a “really positive step”.

Nelson City Council group manager environmental management Clare Barton says that they are aware that there have been issues with ‘feral’ goats but the ongoing control of them is a “fraught issue”.

On Facebook, some suggested that the goats were there first, and it was the humans that were intruders. “The kind of people who move next to a farm from town then ring noise control or council to complain that the cows moo to loud,” one said. “Country life is not for all townys.”

However others suggested another solution: goat curry.

“That’s dinner walking past right there,” one said. “Easy fix. Dog plus knife. I might come “exercise” the hound there tomorrow,” said another.

And it seems that is what has been done.

One comment on Facebook said half the goats had been removed over the weekend.

“Some of the residents took matters into their own hands.”