The idea of a Sanctuary on the site of the city’s former water works was first considered in 2002 by a group of visionary individuals. Since the formation of the Brook Waimārama Sanctuary Trust in 2004 our committed trustees, hardworking volunteers and a small number of staff have been working to make this vision a reality.
In the early days of the Sanctuary’s development the Rotary Club of Nelson was an important partner/ally; Nelson Rotary made a strong contribution to the Sanctuary in its early stages of development through working bees on the loop track systems, flood water management and the decking on the visitor centre. Professional services support was also provided by rotary members through involvement on the Sanctuary Board, strategic and route planning for the pest proof fence. Further information about Rotary Nelson’s contribution can be found on the Club’s website, click here and here for more details.
We are aiming to re-create a historic piece of New Zealand which today is only found on a few off-shore islands, where native birds, reptiles and invertebrates can flourish in the haven we are creating.
Years of labour, intense fundraising and unwavering community support have carried us closer to our goal – we now have a visitor centre, an immersive outdoor classroom, have built the 14.4km pest-proof fence, pedestrian bridges, well maintained visitor tracks (some of wheelchair standard) – and importantly, more public understanding of the importance of wildlife sanctuaries both now and in the future.
We are commencing our programme of reintroducing endangered or lost species, to the eventual benefit of all New Zealanders.