Ecosanctuary seeks promotion

The Orokonui Ecosanctuary has called for Dunedin City Council help to add to the 9000 visitors it received in the last year.

At a recent Dunedin City Council public forum, Otago Natural History Trust chairman Neville Peat told councillors the ecosanctuary would soon be two years old.

"We have gone from an establishment phase to a development phase," Mr Peat said.

The facility, which he said was "no ordinary wildlife reserve", had 9000 visitors in the past year, of whom 80% were local, while 20% were from other parts of New Zealand or overseas.

Celebrity kakapo Sirocco attracted 1472 visitors and five school groups, and a biodiversity education programme had 2000 participants.

Pests were down to "undetectable levels" except for small pockets of mice, and 10,000 native trees and shrubs had been planted.

The facility was a $5.5 million capital investment, remained debt free, and Mr Peat said the ecosanctuary "would like to keep it that way".

Mr Peat said the group was not asking for money, but wanted help promoting the ecosanctuary from council communication and economic development staff.


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