Led by kaumātua from key project partners Rangitāne o Manawatū, around 60 people participated in the blessing – including Mayor Grant Smith, MP and Ambassador Ian McKelvie, and representatives from the Department of Conservation.
Kaumātua Manu Kawana said the blessing was especially significant given the kaupapa (purpose) of the facility, and the timing during Conservation Week.
“Kaitiakitanga (guardianship) is such an important concept, and to see representatives from the Department of Conservation, Massey University, the Palmerston North City Council and other organisations come together to support this is incredible.”
Chair of the Wildbase Recovery Community Trust, Roger Kennedy, says the centre is now moving into the next phase of its life.
“The PowerCo Education Centre has a few final additions which will be included but otherwise, as far as the construction goes – we’re basically finished. The Massey University Wildbase team will now begin the commissioning of the centre, which will include a comprehensive pest removal operation and quarantine period.
“Volunteer visitor hosts are in training, and paid staff for the centre have been appointed and will be starting their new roles over the next few weeks. From this point, the centre will be handed over to its new team – who will be introducing schools and community groups to the education programme over time.”
Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery will be owned by Palmerston North City Council and co-managed with Massey University’s Veterinary School, working alongside Rangitāne o Manawatū, the Department of Conservation and community supporters.
For the latest information on Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery, please follow the Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery Facebook page, or email email@example.com to sign up to the newsletter.