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Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has welcomed the opening today of the new Wildbase wildlife hospital in Palmerston North.

“I congratulate Massey University on this thoroughly modern and fit for purpose new facility which will provide the next generation of conservation care,” Ms Barry says.

“Past and present Massey staff and students have made an enormous contribution in the 15 years since a Wildbase Hospital was first established. They started with 50 patients in 2001 and that grew to 317 last year - a 534% increase which gives us an idea of the high demand for the quality care they’ve provided.”

“From my original tour of the hospital in 2015 it was clear how much this new larger facility was needed. Half the animals they treat are threatened or endangered species.”

“Wildbase was then and remains the only dedicated wildlife hospital in New Zealand.  Staff and vet students treat and actively assist their patients return to the wild as quickly as possible.”

“It is also an example of a strong working partnership between the university, business, community groups and individuals to have funded the upgrade. That reflects the Government’s belief that no single entity can do it alone and growing conservation is a joint responsibility.”

Local National MP and former Manawatu District mayor Ian McKelvie opened the new facility on my behalf earlier today.

“Wildbase is indeed an outstanding world class organisation fully deserving of this fantastic new facility and the country is fortunate to have it,” Ms Barry says.

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