Pukaha is launching a brand-new look and a special new "local's rate" for residents from Norsewood to Featherston.
To celebrate this exciting development, Pūkaha are holding a community open day full of fun, laughter and learning. There will be entertainment, nature-inspired craft stalls, free guided tours and plenty of fun activities from 10 am until 3 pm. Entry is by koha (donation).
Pūkaha will be joined by their supporters and partners, including Rangitāne ‘o’ Wairarapa, The Department of Conservation and both of the Masterton and Tararua District Councils.
The open day is all about acknowledging how important the local community is in the ongoing protection and development of this important taonga. Pūkaha is a treasure of both of the Wairarapa and Tararua regions. We want more locals to visit on a regular basis and to think of this place as their own. We understand that it needs to be made more affordable for locals to visit the reserve and the locals rate has been developed with this in mind. From the 21st of October locals will be able to visit Pūkaha at half of the regular entrance fee. Better still, if a local brings along full paying visitors from outside of the regions they can come in for free. All that is required is proof of address. It’s as simple as that!
Pūkaha is also unveiling a gorgeous new look for the National Wildlife Centre at this event. The new branding incorporates the significant partnership with Rangitāne ‘o’ Wairarapa who made the extraordinary gesture of gifting the reserve back to the Crown after their treaty settlement was confirmed in 2014. It marks the beginning of more joint initiatives between Rangitāne and Pukaha.
Pūkaha is committed to lifting the presence of Rangitāne in the reserve and visitor centre. “A stronger cultural presence at Pūkaha is long overdue. Our staff, volunteers and our visitors are hungry to learn about the cultural significance of this forest” says Pūkaha’s general manager, Emily Court.
Pūkaha’s board chairperson, Bob Francis commented “We’ve worked hard over the last few years to improve our infrastructure and are excited about working more closely with Rangitāne to further develop the visitor experience for the thousands who come here each year. The Board will also continue to work closely with the Department of Conservation and the local community to achieve our conservation goals. It is important that the community has a pride and sense of ownership in Pūkaha, after all the community has had a very strong hand in Pūkaha’s ongoing success.”