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Governor General announced as Wildbase Recovery’s patron

Thursday September 18 2014

Governor General announced as Wildbase Recovery's patron.

Wildbase Recovery Community Trust Patron, His Excellency Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, GNZM, Governor General of New Zealand, adds his support to Wildbase Recovery Community Trust's fundraising efforts with a visit to Palmerston North, 20 September 2014.

Wildbase Recovery's $5.3m world-class facility will provide permanent breeding and inflight aviaries, alongside fourteen rehabilitation aviaries for some of our most endangered species to recover from illness and injury before their release back into the wild. The Palmerston North Victoria Esplanade facility will provide a place where individual stories of journeys back to wellness will engage generations of New Zealanders directly with the conservation of our wildlife.

Patients from all over the country will come to Wildbase Recovery to be rehabilitated after treatment at Massey University's Wildbase Hospital, New Zealand's only dedicated wildlife hospital for the medical and surgical treatment of native wildlife.

Sir Jerry Mateparae joins Wildbase Recovery Community Trust ambassadors Sir Graham Henry, First Crossings' Jamie Fitzgerald, comedian Urzila Carlson, Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie and former In Our Nature blogger and Meet the Locals TV presenter, Nicola Toki, in a list of high profile personalities supporting the project.

"I am pleased to become Patron of the Wildbase Recovery Community Trust as it works to establish Wildbase Recovery, a new rehabilitative facility for our native wildlife," says Sir Jerry. "Wildbase Recovery will not only provide appropriate rehabilitative care for our wildlife, but it will also provide visitors with the rare opportunity to see creatures like kiwi, takahē and tuatara and to understand the many dangers they currently face. In this way, New Zealanders will be more aware of the steps we can all take to serve the cause of conservation in New Zealand."

Local Scott Bruce was the originator of the concept and led the formation of the Registered Charitable Trust. Chaired by lawyer Roger Kennedy, the Trust consists of community and business leaders who are tasked with raising funds for the community-funded Wildbase Recovery. To date, $1.4m has been received thanks to PNCC's 2012 long-term plan committing $837,000, a contribution of $90,000 from the Department of Conservation and a Central Energy Trust grant of $480,000 recently announced at Wildbase Recovery's fundraising launch event.

The Trust, assisted by service clubs such as Rotary and Lions, is now focused on raising the remaining funds. The Wildbase Recovery website includes a donate button, where members of the public can contribute towards the cause, and a number of community groups have offered their support.

"I hope New Zealanders will get behind and support the efforts to make Wildbase Recovery a reality," says Sir Jerry. "In this way, they can help to ensure a more secure future for our precious living taonga, the endangered and rare fauna of New Zealand."