Sir Graham Henry will be talking post Rugby World Cup and wildlife conservation in Auckland this Tuesday 17 November, from 5.30pm. Hosted by Westpac New Zealand, the Wildbase Recovery event will also introduce invited guests to the national wildlife rehabilitation project that is set to take flight in 2017.
“We Kiwis take on big international challenges and work hard to succeed,” says Sir Graham, a Wildbase Recovery Ambassador. “It’s time for us to take some of that energy and use it on home turf to win the fight for our national wildlife.”
One in three of New Zealand’s birds are in trouble, equating to 37 per cent of our native bird species considered threatened, and 34 per cent of our endemic land and freshwater birds facing extinction.
Wildbase Recovery will provide purpose-built rehabilitation aviaries and world-class care for native wildlife to rehabilitate from illness and injury after specialised treatment at Massey University’s Wildbase Hospital – New Zealand’s only dedicated wildlife hospital for the medical and surgical treatment of native wildlife.
Patients will come from throughout the country, and upon their full recovery be released back into the wild in the hope that they will go on to successfully contribute to the survival of their species. Once established, Wildbase Recovery’s nurturing environment will also allow for recuperating wildlife, such as kiwi, takahē, and penguins, to be viewed by the public. Their journey back to wellness will engage generations of New Zealanders with the conservation of some of the world’s most endangered species.
“I am pleased to be helping bring Wildbase Recovery to life,” says Sir Graham. “If we all work together we can give our native species the very best chance of survival.” He is joined by fellow Wildbase Recovery Ambassadors Urzila Carlson, Ian McKelvie and Jamie Fitzgerald. The Governor General, the Right Honorable Sir Jerry Mateparae, is the Patron of Wildbase Recovery.
“We’re pleased and proud to be hosting Wildbase Recovery in Auckland,” says Sue Foley, Westpac New Zealand’s Corporate Affairs Director. “Community support is something we take pride in at Westpac and we absolutely understand that preserving and protecting our native species is important to communities across the country”.
As part of the evening’s presentations, Wildbase Hospital’s Co-Director, Associate Professor Brett Gartrell will discuss recent patient case studies, including a cold-shocked sea turtle who, after receiving treatment at Wildbase, was transferred to Kelly Tarltons for continued care.
Set in Palmerston North, Wildbase Recovery is a collaboration between local government and Massey University, who are supported by the Department of Conservation, iwi, Rotary and Lions clubs. Launched last year, the Wildbase Recovery Community Trust is tasked with raising the $5.69m needed to build the national wildlife recovery facility.
To date, $2.57m has been raised thanks to contributions from organisations such as Lottery Grants, Central Energy Trust, Department of Conservation, Rotary and Lions Clubs, corporate and inkind sponsorship, as well as public donations. Wildbase Recovery Community Trust Chair, Roger Kennedy, says further funding will be announced on Tuesday evening. A roofing consortium consisting of Metalcraft New Zealand, NZ Steel, and Lance Berry Roofing have confirmed in-kind sponsorship that will go towards roof and site preparation to the value of $27,000. Awapuni Rotary have also committed $10,000 to Wildbase Recovery.
Click here for images from the evening.