Council & City

Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery

Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery is a unique conservation centre tasked with rehabilitating endangered native birds.

Artist's illustration shows people walking among buildings and aviaries set amongst trees in a park.

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

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 will house permanent breeding and inflight aviaries alongside nine rehabilitation aviaries for some of our most endangered species. There’ll be nothing else quite like it in New Zealand.

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

It’s anticipated that around 40% of the patients will be on the DoC list of rare and endangered species. They’ll present with injuries and illnesses that are too complicated to be treated anywhere else in New Zealand.

The facility will be free to the public.

Project updates

Construction began in April 2017. The tender was awarded to Kynoch Construction Ltd, a locally-owned company with more than 25 years' experience in the construction sector. 

Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery is now moving into the next phase of its life as construction nears completion.

Massey University's Wildbase Hospital team has begun commissioning the centre, which includes a comprehensive pest removal operation and quarantine period. Volunteer visitor hosts are in training, and paid staff start over the next few weeks.

After this, we'll start introducing schools and community groups to the education programme.

For the latest news and updates, see the website.

Who's behind it

Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery is a collaboration between Massey University and Council in partnership with the Department of Conservation, Rangitāne o Manawatū, Lions and Rotary.

The community facility is funded by the Wildbase Recovery Community Trust, a charitable trust that has raised funds for building, operating and maintaining the $5.69 million recovery centre – which will be built and managed by Council. So far $5.6million has been raised.

Central Energy Trust contributed $2 million and the facility has been named Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery in recognition of their generosity. Council has made a total contribution of $1.37 million. Other contributors include the Department of Conservation, Eastern and Central Community Trust, Lotteries and corporate sponsors.