Conservation efforts take flight in Palmerston North

Conservation efforts take flight in Palmerston North add

New Zealand's fauna is envied and celebrated in equal measure the world over. Aotearoa's unique environment has provided a glorious habitat for indigenous and native species to thrive and locals and tourists enjoy privileged interactions.

Despite this, if not for the Internet, most of us would not have an understanding of their vulnerabilities. In fact, many of us are still unaware. The Powerco Education Centre based at the Central Energy Trust (CET) Wildbase Recovery in Palmerston North is changing this.

The CET Wildbase Recovery, a conservation centre, is bringing the plight of injured and endangered native birds into the public eye and its consciousness. While the Massey University state-of-the-art Wildbase Hospital delivers a phenomenal service, it remains without a physio ward. CET Wildbase Recovery is meeting this need with its permanent breeding, inflight and rehabilitation aviaries. In an exciting twist, it is inviting the public to observe and interact with these aviaries.

At the heart of the centre is the Powerco Education Centre. A step beyond the traditional zoo, the centre is an educational, interactive, conservation focused playground that makes the previously invisible, visible. "From the education centre, the food and treatment rooms are on display, so visitors can look through the window and experience these elements," Palmerston North City Council Senior Property & Parks Planner Aaron Phillips says.

"People might get to look in and see a penguin being weighed or fattened up or having some minor physio. Through the education centre and the wider facility, the problems these birds are facing will be brought to the surface and we hope that because of that, their plight will touch people and make them more aware of their surroundings and their moral and social obligation to the birds they are sharing these surroundings with."

GIB Partnership Manager, Lorraine Fitzpatrick, shared with defign how GIBĀ® became involved with the centre.

"When we were first approached to see if we could help out, the team at GIBĀ® jumped at the opportunity to be involved in such an amazing programme. As a 100 percent owned and operated manufacturer of plasterboard products in New Zealand, we understand the importance of putting back into our communities and ensuring that we have a positive investment into the future of beautiful Aotearoa. We are privileged to have been involved in groundbreaking work."

Fitzpatrick's comments are echoed by Powerco Acting Corporate Affairs Manager Krysti Wetton: "Becoming the naming rights sponsor of Wildbase Recovery's Education Centre was an ideal fit for us. This is a great way we can contribute to national conservation efforts and to teach children about important environmental issues."

ADNZ member Susie Elms of Chapple Architecture has been involved with the project since its inception. She will keep Defign blog up to date with its progress. Keep an eye out on the ADNZ Facebook page for any updates on this unique project.