Rotary protecting New Zealand’s national treasures

Published 3:03 pm Friday, August 18, 2017

With more than one in three of New Zealand’s native bird species now at risk, it is a race against time to prevent a vast array of species from vanishing forever. The Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery project, aimed at the conservation of national treasures such as the kiwi and takahe, is now well underway, thanks to Rotary’s involvement.

Rotary clubs have played a critical and significant role from the very beginning. Scott Bruce of the Rotary Club of Milson, New Zealand, was the project founder and funding leader, while Rodney Wong, of the Rotary Club of Awapuni, New Zealand, has acted as project advisor throughout.

Rotary clubs in Milson and Awapuni provided the initial seed funding of $10,000 and pro bono support for the formation of a charitable trust to raise further funds. Roughly $38,000 has been donated in cash by Rotary clubs, and Rotary-led fundraising efforts have produced in-kind donations totaling $330,000.

Rotary’s networks and credibility has also helped ensure the right people knew about the project, such as CEOs and senior executives of key organizations. Now, just over $5.84 million has been raised, which is funding construction and operation of the facility.