Wildlife sanctuary upgrade gets $2.5 million support
Published: Jun 19, 2020 · Updated: Dec 1, 2020
The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has invested $2.5 million to expand and develop the Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre in the lower North Island.
The funding will be used to upgrade and expand the sanctuary and develop the Pūkaha Wildlife Ecology Programme.
It is a great opportunity for the PGF to be involved in protecting and growing our native species while growing the regional economy at a time when it’s most needed.
Pūkaha has created a successful wildlife and captive breeding facility, on nearly 1000 hectares of native forest.
The sanctuary is considered a sacred treasure and home to endangered wildlife species such as kiwi, takahe, kokako, kaka and tuna (long-finned eels).
The PGF investment will pay for training and educational facilities, accommodation and a nocturnal boardwalk. Community and iwi consultation has shown significant interest in hands-on environmental education and this development allows the sanctuary to expand its education programme.
The Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre has worked closely with the Department of Conservation and iwi to shape this new development.
Local firms will be used during construction, and the project is also developing a vocational training programme to upskill local rangitahi in predator control and conservation techniques.
The wider project includes establishing a team of local kai whakairo (carvers) to create displays for the new facilities, construction of which began in early June.