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Funding secured for Auckland Zoo Development
The $16 million precinct development project is the largest ever undertaken in the zooâs 87-year history. Opening up previously undeveloped areas of the zooâs footprint, Te Wao Nui will offer local and international visitors alike a unique experience of New Zealandâs fauna, flora and culture.
The Lotteries grant completes the fundraising target of the Auckland Zoo Charitable Trust. Combined with Auckland City Councilâs contribution of $9.4 million, the project is now able to begin construction in July of this year for a September 2011 opening.
As Auckland Zoo Board Chair, Cr Graeme Mulholland explains, âthe Zoo Trust, under the leadership of Chair Penny Whiting MBE, has done an amazing job raising the balance of funds required for this project. This is the largest grant given by the Lottery Significant Projects Fund for this funding round, and weâre delighted to have their support.
âThe Council sees this project as an important investment in Aucklandâs future, and one that will further the zooâs status as a progressive world-class facility.ï¿½?
Auckland Zoo Director Jonathan Wilcken adds Te Wao Nui is about celebrating and helping to protect this countryâs unique native wildlife, âhaving concentrated on developing exhibits that showcase species from around the globe, itâs now time for us to focus on what is nearest and dearest to us â Aotearoa.
âItâs our vision that Te Wao Nui will enable all visitors to explore, connect with, and protect the taonga of our living world, as well as offering a valuable resource for wildlife conservation. For many years, Auckland Zooâs work conserving New Zealandâs native species has taken place behind the scenes. Te Wao Nui will change this. Along with opening the door on this work, it will also bring to the fore the many important conservation partnerships - including those with the Department of Conservation and Ngati Whatua o Orakei, both of whom have been key in helping us make this project a reality.ï¿½?
Te Wao Nui will offer a journey through six ecological environments â The Forest, The Islands, The Coast, The Wetlands, The Night Forest, and The High Country, and feature 60 New Zealand animal species and over 11 New Zealand plant species. Presenting New Zealandâs flora, fauna and culture in a way that has never been done before, Te Wao Nui will offer an incredible opportunity to experience New Zealandâs natural world in one location at Auckland Zoo.
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