Council & City

Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery

Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery is a world-class rehabilitation facility for New Zealand's endangered birds.

Photo shows a painted pou on a path leading to the aviaries, flanked by boulders, native grasses and flax.

Visitors to the wildlife rehabilitation centre can get up close and personal with endangered native birds.

The facility is free to the public.

This project is an exciting opportunity for Palmerston North to contribute to the conservation and protection of our native species. Located in Victoria Esplanade, the centre houses permanent breeding and inflight aviaries alongside nine rehabilitation aviaries for some of our most endangered species. There’s nothing else quite like it in New Zealand.

Massey University’s veterinary wildlife specialists are on-site to rehabilitate ill or injured birds before they’re released back into the wild. Visitors are able to watch the vets in action and get close to native birds including kiwi, takahē and yellow-eyed penguins. Each bird has its own story, and visitors can learn about each bird’s injuries, treatment and recovery.

Around 40 per cent of the patients are on the Department of Conservation list of rare and endangered species. They present with injuries and illnesses that are too complicated to be treated anywhere else in New Zealand.

Photo shows children inside the education centre, which is fitted out with colourful sculptures of trees and birds.

Wildbase is also home to the Powerco Education Centre, aimed at introducing youngsters to conservation through a fun, bilingual education programme.

Facility wins architectural design award 

Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery has won the Commercial/Industrial Architectural Design Award in the 2019 Taranaki/Whanganui/Manawatū ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Awards.

The judges said the design by Susie Elms of Chapple Architecture has an uncompromising attention to detail. 

"The centre is sympathetic to its park environment, despite being enclosed within a large concrete and steel-capped predator proof fence. The design creates a world and invites discovery."