Natureland saved again

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Natureland doesn’t have any cats in its zoo, but it shares their ability to use up a fair few of their allocated lives.

Nelson City Council announced last week that Natureland Zoo will have new owners before Christmas, saving it from closure yet again.

Nelson mayor Aldo Miccio says an agreement is being finalised on the lease and funding arrangement with a charitable trust that is ready to take over the management of Natureland from November 1.

The final sale and handover arrangements are currently underway between Orana Wildlife Trust and the new owners, who will be announcing their plans for Natureland once all documentation is completed.

“The council looks forward to a new chapter in the Natureland story, and as landlord and principal funder, it is pleased to support the proposal put forward by the new owners,” says Aldo.

Orana Wildlife Trust has owned and managed Natureland for the past five years, coming on board when its future was in doubt. The Orana trust introduced various new attractions and activities but signalled last year it wanted to withdraw due to issues with its own park after the Christchurch earthquakes.

Since 2003 paying visitor numbers have averaged 32,134 per year.