Guest speaker, Conservation Minister the Hon. Dr Nick Smith, announced a $90,000 grant from the Department of Conservation and made a promise of more to come.
Central Energy Trust secretary Ron Eglinton announced, on behalf of trust chairman Sir Brian Elwood, a $480,000 grant to Wildbase Recovery Community Trust for Wildbase Recovery.
"Wildbase Recovery will be a significant asset for Manawatū and New Zealand as a whole. We are proud to help with this project which will help give native wildlife a fighting chance."
Wildbase Recovery Community Trust Chair, Roger Kennedy says the fundraising project is off to a great start thanks to the announcements from Central Energy Trust and Department of Conservation.
"This is a significant boost, we now have over 1.4million dollars raised," says Mr Kennedy.
"Our team, 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. We're also talking with business owners and applying to significant funding bodies. Together, we can all give our native species a fighting chance."
Wildbase Recovery will provide rehabilitation to animals treated by Wildbase Hospital at Massey University's Manawatū campus. Central Energy Trust also announced $200,000 towards Wildbase Hospital's project to build a purpose built hospital that will treat the growing number of injured wildlife being sent to Massey for treatment.
Wildbase Hospital director Associate Professor Brett Gartrell welcomed the grant announcement. "We received notice of the possibility of this generous grant some time ago and had incorporated it into our fundraising," says Dr Gartrell. "We are now just $80,000 shy of our target before construction starts."
Wildbase Recovery is a long-term project. Back in 2012 Palmerston North City Council committed $837,000 towards the project which has resource consent, and unique 30-year permit from the Department of Conservation.
Wildbase Recovery Community Trust is a registered charitable trust. In a unique collaboration, Wildbase Recovery will be built and owned by PNCC and co-managed by Massey University's Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences. Together, they are working alongside Department of Conservation, Rangitāne o Manawatū and Rotary.
Further information on the project and its fundraising campaign can be found online at www.wildbaserecovery.co.nz and Wildbase's Facebook page.