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Mitsubishi Motors partners wildlife sanctuary

Media Release

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Mitsubishi Motors partners national wildlife sanctuary

Mitsubishi Motors NZ managing director John Leighton hands the keys for a Mitsubishi i-car to Zealandia CEO Nancy McIntosh-Ward while Prime Minister John Key, Wellington City mayor Kerry Prendergast and chairman of Karori Sanctuary Trust Richard Bentley look on.


Mitsubishi Motors and Zealandia -the Karori Sanctuary Experience have announced a new four year partnership, coinciding with the rebranding of Wellington's award winning, 225 hectare conservation project.

"Like Zealandia's 500 year vision, Mitsubishi are also looking to the future and conservation with the development of the innovative iMiEV electric car, due here in February next year," Zealandia CEO Nancy McIntosh-Ward said.

"It's wonderful to have the support of such a strong, innovative, forward looking, international corporation as we move into an exciting new phase of development.

"We have today launched a new brand for the award winning Sanctuary and construction is well underway on our new $16 million visitor centre, due to open in 2010 and which will allow us to comfortably handle over 200,000 visitors a year."

Mitsubishi managing director John Leighton said: "We're very proud to be associated with the Zealandia team. They are brilliant at capturing people's imagination and leading them to a better understanding of what conservation is all about.

"Their 35 kilometres of bush tracks teem with wildlife, and I can tell you it's a very special moment when you come face to face with tuatara. They've been around for 60 million years, but only at Zealandia can you see them on the mainland in the wild."

He added: "The all-electric iMiEV is one of the biggest advances in personal transport since the motor vehicle was invented. Ministers and officials will be first to drive it early next year, then it will be evaluated by the country's biggest energy provider Meridian Energy. Since Meridian and iMiEV are carbon emission-free, we believe that's a world-first relationship."

Zealandia, formerly known as the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, was launched as a new brand (Tues 2 Dec) at a Tourism New Zealand function attended by Prime Minister (and Tourism Minister) John Key, Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast and Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson.

At the gathering, John Leighton presented a signwritten Mitsubishi i-car to Zealandia CEO Nancy McIntosh-Ward.

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