Imagine a place... where native plants and animals thrive, without threat from introduced pests. ... alive with birdsong, where rare species such as kiwi, tuatara and kakapo roam freely. ... where you can get involved and make a difference. ... where visitors can see native flora and fauna close to home.
The Brook Waimarama Sanctuary is a community-based initiative working to create a pest-free wildlife sanctuary close to the Nelson city centre in New Zealand. Integral to creating the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary is construction of a pest-proof fence 14km long, to enclose the area, and to eradicate all the pest mammals within it. This will enable the re-creation of a historic piece of New Zealand which today is only found on a few offshore islands. Resident birds, reptiles and invertebrates will flourish and species previously lost from the area will be re-introduced. The project was launched in 2004 and has strong community involvement and support.

The Sanctuary site

The Sanctuary will extend over 715 hectares of a former Water Reserve owned by Nelson City Council. Most of the site comprises mature beech forest with occasional huge podocarps. The southern part of the site is diverse broadleaved forest on land cleared in the 19th Century. Over 250 species of plants have been recorded and the birdlife includes rare species such as NZ falcon, yellow-crowned parakeets, weka and robins. The site is an ideal size and location. It is a short distance from Nelson City, Stoke and Richmond with forested corridors to take birdlife from the sanctuary into these areas and into residents’ gardens. It is joined to the south to 100,000 plus hectares of native forest including the Mt Richmond Conservation Area.

Operation of the sanctuary

  • The sanctuary is administered by a charitable trust
    (registration # CC32934) with a board of 12 trustees
    • four trustees represent project partners: Department of Conservation (“DOC”), Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (“NMIT”) and local iwi; and
    • other trustees bring individual relevant skills to the Board.
    • All trustees are volunteers.
  • The Trust is chaired by Dr David Butler
  • The General Manager Hudson Dodd
  • The Sanctuary Coordinator Rick Field
  • Business Development David Kerr
  • Raeonie Thompson is the Sanctuary Membership Administrator
  • Naina Mahto is the Financial Administrator

Support to date

  • The Trust has over 600 members.
  • Nelson City Council has endorsed the use of its land for a Sanctuary and provided an initial 3-year operational grant.
  • The construction of the Visitor Centre building was a team effort from the community with generous donations of cash, materials and peoples' time to complete the award winning building.
  • Both Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council have set aside funds in their Annual Plan to contribute to the cost of building the pest-proof fence.
  • Around $3.25 million has been raised to date toward meeting the cost of fence construction.