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Plan for enhanced entry at Hamilton Zoo and Waiwhakareke to be delivered sooner

Plan for enhanced entry at Hamilton Zoo and Waiwhakareke to be delivered sooner
January 19, 2021

Hamilton’s Mayor and Councillors have unanimously backed a plan to enhance the experience of  visitors to Hamilton Zoo and Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park, while also improving the safety of road users and residents in the area.

Three high-profile projects have been combined to improve access to two of the city’s major visitor destinations, reduce disruption and identify potential cost savings.

Work was already scheduled within the next five years to upgrade a section of Brymer Road, between Baverstock Road and the northern entrance of Hamilton Zoo. Work is already underway to develop the first stage of a shared entry for the Zoo and Waiwhakareke. The second stage of the shared entry project is planned, but not yet funded in the current long-term plan.

Before Christmas the Council considered a proposal to combine all three projects, aligning the timing and confirming additional funding for the second stage of the Zoo/Waiwhakareke entrance. The combined project will get underway next year.

The decision means initial works scheduled for February can now include other aspects of the wider project.

Advising that she was delighted Elected Members unanimously endorsed the staff proposal, Hamilton Mayor, Paula Southgate stated “our zoo is a wonderful asset for our community and the many thousands of visitors who enjoy it every year. Just across the road is Waiwhakareke, our flagship and world-class project for biodiversity in our city.”

The shared entry precinct and a safe crossing point for visitors between the two facilities supports sharing Hamilton’s natural heritage with its community. Combining this work with an urban upgrade of this section of Baverstock Road also benefits local residents through lower speeds, safer roads and a better urban environment.

Congratulating staff for recognising the opportunity to deliver the benefits of a ‘whole-of-Council’ approach to projects of significance, Mayor Southgate added “the overall project will deliver new footpaths and cycleways and improve public transport so there are some real wins.

“We are committed to improving the wellbeing of Hamiltonians and this project is a great example of how we can do that sooner and more efficiently. I’m excited about the changes we’ll see in this part of our city, and the recognition this work will give to two of our wonderful destination facilities.”

In the days before Christmas, the Zoo welcomed a new chimpanzee, just 24 hours after the family group’s first introduction to their new outdoor enclosure.

Explaining that the Zoo team was delighted by Mum Sanda’s delivery, Zoo Director Dr Baird Fleming stated “we were so over the moon … with how wonderfully well the chimpanzees reacted to their new space and today we’re celebrating a birth.

“It’s a really positive sign that Sanda felt so happy, healthy and safe in her new surroundings she was comfortable enough to deliver her baby.”

The chimps have been off display since February last year while their outdoor enclosure was upgraded.

Dr Fleming said while he knew visitors would be excited to see the chimps again and would be keen to meet the new addition, the priority was to give the troop time to get used to their new space and bond with the baby.

Images: An artist’s impression of the new entry building at the Hamilton Zoo and Waiwhakareke shared entrance precinct (top) and chimpanzee Sanda and her baby at the Zoo (below).

Related Articles

14th January 2021 - Hamilton Zoo gets Zoo and Aquarium Association recognition for animal welfare practices

7th January 2021 - Zoo and Aquariums Association provides updates on facility updates and upgrades in 2020

23rd November 2020 - Hamilton residents favour creation of multi-purpose park on Founders Theatre site

22nd September 2020 - Zoos celebrate World Rhino Day

11th September 2020 - Recipients announced for New Zealand Wildlife Institutions Relief Fund

15th July 2020 - New Zealand zoos and aquariums welcome government relief for animal conservation and care

15th April 2020 - Nature key to New Zealand’s post Coronavirus recovery

5th December 2019 - Hamilton Play Strategy gets recognition from Recreation Aotearoa

29th September 2019 - ZAA-accredited zoos and aquariums highlight their activities through Conservation Week

9th April 2018 - Hamilton Zoo sets new attendance record

24th April 2017 - Public and industry comment invited for Hamilton Zoo Master Plan

15th September 2016 - Court hears of improvements to Hamilton Zoo safety systems after keeper’s death

4th March 2016 - Parks Week a chance to celebrate Hamilton’s green spaces

27th February 2016 - Hamilton City Council retains Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park as part of ecological project

30th January 2016 - Baby chimpanzee expected at Hamilton Zoo

23rd January 2016 - Hamilton’s attractions broadcast to the world by Google Trekker

13th June 2012 - Baby chimpanzee born at Wellington Zoo

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