Financially the Trust achieved its goal to break even, achieved
admissions revenue in excess of $1 million for the first time, and
brought its expenses home 4% under budget. This, despite the unexpected
need to spend in excess of $50,000 of operational funds on capital
planning, a situation that will be resolved if the Business Case
for the Capital Plan is accepted by Councillors in December 2006,
and then accepted by the public as part of the Annual Plan process
in March 2007. The Trust significantly improved the ratio of externally-raised
funds to Wellington City Council funds and met every Key Performance
Indicator agreed with the Council.
The Trust doubled its funding from the New Zealand Ministry of
Education for Learning and Education Outside the Classroom, offered
new and exciting enquiry-based programmes such as Wildlife Encounters
in the Living Room, and Close Encounters - enchanting visitors and
imbuing them with a commitment to sustainable living. Over 14,000
students experienced an engaging Zoo educational programme in the
year and the Trust stepped up its commitment to back educational
programme developments with a sound research-base.
The highlight was the Zoo’s participation in the Kereru Discovery
Project, launched by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, conceived by then-Zoo
CEO Alison Lash and enthusiastically developed with partners Te
Papa, Victoria University, Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, and Pukaha/Mt
Bruce National Wildlife Centre (Department of Conservation).
The Zoo commits to living its values and remarkably saved almost
$1000 per month in waste disposal, reducing by 97% its waste to
landfill. Water usage was reduced by 33%.
Zoo staff made individual conservation contributions through the
year - for example Dr Katja Geschke in the satellite tagging of
sea lions in the Auckland Islands and treating short-tailed bats
on Kapiti Island; Chris Castles helping DoC band blue ducks in the
wild and Jo Turton volunteering at the Ugandan Wildlife Education
A major change is underway led by experienced animal trainer Gerry
Whitehouse-Ted to train and condition our animals so they can receive
health and welfare treatments naturally. The risks to animals’
health are vastly reduced by this programme.
The big step forward in animal welfare is the near-completion of
the new chimpanzee night quarters replacing the decrepit 60-year
old accommodation they currently exist in. The Trust thanks and
acknowledges the commitment of the Wellington City Council to replacing
this and other old and shabby assets at the Zoo. Wellington Zoo’s
chimpanzee group is world famous for its high functioning and it
will be thrilling to see them explore their home in the new quarters
that will open in October 2006.
The Trust offers its grateful thanks to Alison Lash who completed
a marvelous period as CEO in April of this year and will welcome
wallaby Karen Fifield in September. Karen Fifield has forged an
outstanding record as a zoo educator and manager in Sydney and Melbourne
and the Trust is very pleased to have her join us. The Trust would
also like to thank Mauritz Basson, General Manager, Operations for
ably acting in the position of CEO for almost five months,
We’ve already acknowledged the commitment of the Wellington
City Council and Mayor Prendergast to the more than 170,000 Wellingtonians
and visitors who came to the Zoo in the year under review. There
can be no doubt that these visitors “vote with their feet”
and that Wellington would be much the poorer without the engaging,
thought-provoking and fun experiences the Zoo offers.
The Trust offers heartfelt thanks to the staff whose caring and
professional commitment to the work they do make it possible to
have the lofty vision that the Wellington Zoo will be a leader in
engaging its visitors.
I wish to also thank the Trustees who regularly commit much more
time and expertise than they are ever compensated for.
The Trust acknowledges and thanks the donors and benefactors listed
in the following section.
The Trust received $ 836,000 in grants and donations in the year,
as well as many ‘in kind’ donations. A highlight was
the $500,000 received from Pub Charity for the new amphitheatre
in place of the ancient crumbling steps in the heart of the Zoo.
The Trust also thanks Monkey Trust, WCC Public Art Panel, Pelorus
Trust, New Zealand Lottery Grants Board, Unison Trust, Trusts Charitable
Trust, Trust House Charitable Trust, Caversham Trust, Community
Trust of Wellington, Southern Trust, Classic Hits, Arataki Honey,
Brian Whiteacre Trust, Southern Cross, Estate of T Mouw, Estate
of Marcia D Donnellan, Estate of B Armstrong, CRA, Bob Archibald,
Tip Top, Saatchi & Saatchi, Pacific Radiology and the Dominion
Commitment to the Future
The Trust appreciates that the Wellington City Council has already
acknowledged, through the process of Long Term Community Consultation
Plan (“LTCCP”), the dilapidated state of some Zoo assets.
The Trust is doing its bit through inspiring projects such as the
new chimp enclosure and the Council is committed to approving projects
that remove concerns about animal welfare and health and safety
and make the Zoo a better place for animals, plants and people.
In his inspiring submission to the Wellington City Council Weta
Workshop’s visionary leader Richard Taylor described the Zoo
as a tangible place where people can experience the wonders of the
natural world “beyond the discovery channel”. The Zoo
is a window on a diverse world that many will never see “for
real”. It’s a treasure and we’re incredibly lucky
to have it here in Wellington. See you there!
Wellington Zoo Trust
10 August 2006