Support for future owners of Penguin Place

A volunteer cleans up at Penguin Place. Photo: Supplied.
Penguin Place. Photo: Supplied.
A huge debt is owed to the McGrouther family who own Penguin Place, Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust general manager Sue Murray says.

The conservation and tourism business on Otago Peninsula has been listed for sale by tender, along with the McGrouthers’ sheep farm.

The news of the sale follows an acknowledgement that ongoing human intervention, such as the rehabilitation work done at Penguin Place, is required to keep yellow-eyed penguins (hoiho) from disappearing from the mainland of New Zealand.

Mrs Murray said the trust hoped to have a relationship with any buyer of the conservation business in the future.

Department of Conservation operations manager Craig Wilson said Penguin Place had provided an essential service for hoiho conservation over the years.

The department was open to continuing its good relationship with any future owners, he said.

Penguin Place received $500,000 last year in Covid-recovery support from the strategic tourism assets protection programme.

A Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment spokesman said the ministry had been in touch with the Penguin Place owners, who said they were looking at their options.

Tourism assets protection funding was provided to the owners of Penguin Place to support the existing tourism asset, the spokesman said.

If Penguin Place was sold the ministry would need to reassess the status of that support with the new owners.

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