News, Events and Culture

Central Energy Trust donation gives Wildbase Recovery green light

Thursday September 15 2016

Central Energy Trust has announced a $2 million donation to the Wildbase Recovery Community Trust. This brings the total amount raised to $5.6 million, just $100,000 shy of the target. The centre has been named Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery in recognition of their contribution.

Photo shows a hawk cocooned in a towel.

Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery Centre will be a world-class rehabilitation facility where native birds can recover after treatment at Massey University's Wildbase Hospital, before they are released back into the wild.

The project will now go to tender while fundraising is completed. Construction is expected to begin in early 2017 and will take around 12 months to complete.

Central Energy Trust chairman Rod Titcombe says the trust has taken a keen interest in this collaboration between Palmerston North City Council, Massey University, Department of Conservation, and Rangitāne O Manawatū.

“The Wildbase Recovery Community Trust and the Palmerston North City Council have made a huge effort in raising the considerable funds required to get the Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery Centre off the ground.

“Our trust allows for the financing of activities or projects which are of social, educational or general benefit to the community. Given the commitment the community has made towards this worthwhile project, Central Energy trustees were pleased to increase our commitment from $480,000 to a total of $2 million.”

The donation was accepted by Wildbase Recovery Community Trust Chair Roger Kennedy, who says it reinforced the unwavering support of the Central Energy Trust for the project.

“Central Energy Trust was one of our very first financial supporters over two years ago. Without their early and unconditional support the project could not have even begun.

Palmerston North City Council has also agreed to put in an additional $500,000 bringing the Council’s total contribution to $1.37 million.

Palmerston North mayor Grant Smith says Wildbase Recovery will be a significant asset for the city, the region and the nation.

“It will be a visible demonstration of our city’s commitment to the environment. Victoria Esplanade is already a major attraction. A project of this significance will be a huge drawcard for residents and visitors alike.”

Mr Kennedy says the 2900-square-metre Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery facility will be nationally significant, and the trust is extremely thankful to all the sponsors to date.

“In particular we wish to thank the Rotary and Lions Clubs, who have played critical roles in supporting and fundraising.”

Mr. Kennedy says that over the last two months additional community support has raised over $640,000.

“We’ve been ecstatic with the amount contributed so far but that’s not the end of the story. We still have to raise $100,000 to meet our target. We’re encouraging everyone to keep donations rolling in.”

Public donations can still be made via the Wildbase Recovery Community Trust Givealittle page.

Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery will be built and owned by Palmerston North City Council and co-managed by Massey University’s Veterinary School, working alongside DOC, local iwi, Rotary, and Lions.