11 Dec 2018

Community group loses appeal against poison drop

7:27 pm on 11 December 2018

A Nelson community group has lost an appeal challenging the lawfulness of an aerial drop of poison in a nearby wildlife sanctuary.

Brook Waimarama Sanctuary

Photo: Alison Ballance / RNZ

The Brook Valley Community Group has been waging a legal battle against aerial drops of brodifacoum at the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary

The group challenged the validity of exemptions to the Resource Management Act signed off by the previous government, that allowed the toxin to be dropped by air.

Last year it lost a series of legal battles in a bid to stop the poison drop, including an application to the High Court and the Court of Appeal for a stay and interim relief.

After that was declined, the Trust operating the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary conducted three drops of brodifacoum in September and October last year.

The sanctuary in the Brook Valley, on the city outskirts has been a long-running community project, which has involved large-scale public and council input. The poison drop was part of a long-term plan to rid pests following a large trapping operation within the boundaries of its pest-proof fence.

In a decision released today, the Appeal Court has dismissed a further challenge to the lawfulness of the action.

It said the part of the regulations that the group challenged were consistent with the Act's purpose of sustainable management.

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