Controversial 1080 drop commences over Nelson sanctuary
Brook Waimarama Sanctuary proceeded with its pest control programme last Saturday, after the Court of Appeal handed down its decision last Thursday. The Brook Valley Community Group had appealed a High Court decision confirming the legality of new rules surrounding national pest control methods.
The Brook Valley Community Group in Nelson had legally challenged national regulations for pest control, in response to a planned drop of 24 tonnes of brodifacoum-laced bait over the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary. Specifically, the Group had challenged the legality of the Resource Management (Exemption) Regulations 2017, which purport to exempt aerial drops of 1080 and Brodifacoum from usual resource consent requirements. It had asked Nelson Council to assess the combination of section 13 of the Resource Management Act and the freshwater rules in the Nelson Resource Management Plan, which prohibit the deposition of toxic substances in or on or under the bed or bank of a river.
The pest control operation that commenced last Saturday aims to eradicate all non-native pests within a 14 kilometre pest-proof fence that was completed in 2016 at the 691-hectare sanctuary, to allow for the reintroduction of native wildlife. Approximately 11.5 tonnes of bait was applied during the first drop. The total to be applied for all three drops is 26.5 tonnes.