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The Tasman "Lead Heads"

The “Lead Heads”, formed in 2019, are a passionate group of volunteers who are keen to see the end of old lead nail heads and flashings in buildings which are accessible to kea.

Headed by long-time Kea Conservation supporter and Nelsonite Peter Hay, the group aimed at visiting back country structures in Kea habitat, to remove their lead components; people who would like to combine some tramping, 4WDriving or even an occasional helicopter ride, with some very meaningful work.

They have initially focused on removing roof flashings and nail heads remaining in buildings in Nelson, Tasman, Kahurangi NP, Nelson Lakes NP, Able Tasman NP, Richmond ranges but are keen to take their work South Island wide throughout kea habitat.

Funders and Supporters

  • Kea Conservation Trust – Working at Heights Training; safety equipment
  • DOC – logistical and in-kind support
  • Stu – $1,050 (Give a Little – 100 Miles for Kea Conservation)
  • Nelson Ski Club – $1,150
  • Tasman Roofing – 7,000 hex screws

How you can help

  • We need builders or handy men and women who are certified or able to be trained to work at heights, to join the Lead Head crew.
  • Donations of replacement flashings and screws.
  • Funding to support the crews efforts.

Thank you!

The Leadheads team with KCT Community Engagement Coordinator, Andrea Goodman all kitted up and ready to tackle the lead! Left to right: Gerald Gaskell, Brian Pollock, Ed, Joe Hay, Andrea, Lincoln McKenzie, Pete Hay, Barry Savage.

2019 Outcomes

Caanan April – Canaan Downs, Abel Tasman NP - April 2019

The inaugural de-leading by the Lead Heads went swimmingly at Canaan Downes in Abel Tasman National Park in April 2019. The crew removed all lead from the woolshed, woodshed and auxiliary buildings on site. Non-lead tech screws and flashings were used as replacements for all lead removed.

The Kea Conservation Trust provided funding for the working at heights training courses and purchase of gear. DOC provided tremendous logistical and in kind support. Pete Hay is the awesome coordinator of the Lead Heads (Head Lead Head), and he has been instrumental in helping drive this project.

Three kea were seen over the weekend and kea damage was seen on the lead flashings and nails on the buildings. It really justifies the removal of lead from these areas. Fantastic effort guys!

May – Mt Campbell, Nelson.

350 lead head nails were removed and replaced with tech screws, from a private storage hut at Mt Campbell.

November – Cobb Valley, Golden Bay.

900 lead head nails and 10m of lead flashing was removed from Trilobite and Myttons Huts and their outbuildings on PCL at Cobb Valley. Also included work on several structures in a cluster of houses by the Dam.


2020 Outcomes

March – Inwoods Lookout, Nelson

390 lead head nails and flashing were removed and replaced with nontoxic materials (supplied by Forestry Managers) from a private forestry service shed at Inwoods Lookout.

September – Hadfield Clearing, Abel Tasman NP

Janszoon Facebook post 7 September:

Big thanks to the Lead Head volunteers from the Kea Conservation Trust who recently did a shed cleanup and tree planting along with removing around 100 lead nails at the Hadfield Clearing woolshed. They also identified that the old school house near the homestead has around 200 nails that need replacing. Lead nails are an issue with kea, as the birds can get sick from lead poisoning. The Lead Heads are keen to hear from anyone who has a property adjoining the park where owners observe kea interfering with (and possibly ingesting) lead fixtures”.

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