Zealandia Partnership

19 June 2012

Zealandia's future has been secured with the Council's Strategy and Policy Committee unanimously voting for a new partnership model last week.

The new partnership will secure Zealandia's future (photo by Andrew Digby)

The new partnership will secure Zealandia's future (photo by Andrew Digby)

After considering public submissions and undertaking further analysis, Councillors voted in favour of a new 'partnership model' that will deliver certainty for Zealandia and for ratepayers.

Natural Environment Portfolio Leader, Councillor Helene Ritchie, says the Council clearly listened to the public during a consultation on a range of options for the future governance of Zealandia.

"Zealandia is a flora and fauna taonga (treasure)," says Cr Ritchie. "It is a unique sanctuary that is a key part of the biodiversity renaissance in our Capital."

The partnership model is the start of the next phase for Zealandia, with the Council providing guidance and support as the organisation matures.

The partnership model will be underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Council and Zealandia's guardians that ensures the Council is an active partner to provide support before issues arise.

The first step in the process is a review of the management and governance of Zealandia by an independent person.

The findings of this review will give the Council comfort over previous concerns about governance and funding issues and will ensure action is taken to ensure long-term sustainability for Zealandia while providing value for money for Wellington's ratepayers.

Mayor Wade-Brown acknowledged the value of the many parks, reserves, Council's pest control, the many volunteers and key organisations such as the Zoo, Otari-Wilton's Bush and iwi in supporting Wellington's environmental wellbeing.

"Zealandia is a wonderful ecological asset that the Council recognises the importance of as part of Wellington's environmental wellbeing," says the Mayor.

"As a result, the Council agreed to advance a wider ecological framework for the city, potentially including Victoria University's scientific expertise, the Town Belt, the South Coast and other contributors such as the Department of Conservation and Forest & Bird."

Councillors will make a final decision on 27 June.