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ZEALANDIA Named One of TIME's 100 Greatest Places of 2019

23 August 2019

ZEALANDIA has today been named one of the “greatest places” on earth, according to Time Magazine’s World’s 100 Greatest Places of 2019.

Dr Danielle Shanahan, Acting Chief Executive, says, “We’re extraordinarily proud of what has been achieved at ZEALANDIA and are thrilled to have been recognized by TIME Magazine in this way. ZEALANDIA’s success shows what is possible when a community gets behind a wild and ambitious idea.”

“The incredible changes in birdlife that we have experienced across the region show that cities don’t have to be places devoid of native wildlife. In fact, Wellington is one of the world’s only cities where native bird biodiversity is increasing rather than decreasing.”

His Excellency, Justin Lester, Mayor of Wellington says, “We have long known that ZEALANDIA is a special treasure, or taonga, for Wellington. This achievement recognises the many people and organisations who got behind the dream and is an exceptional result for Wellington.”

For 24 years, ZEALANDIA has been working to restore a valley located just 2km from downtown Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. Alongside a passionate community dedicated to conservation, ZEALANDIA has achieved astounding results in re-introducing native wildlife to back into the area, and as a result people are now encountering many once-rare species in their own backyards. This has resulted not only in improvements for nature, but a transformation of people who now take action to care for the wildlife across the city.

The TIME list was drawn from nominations across a variety of categories—including museums, parks, restaurants, and hotels. From there they evaluated each one based on key factors, including quality, originality, sustainability, innovation and influence.

ZEALANDIA also acknowledges and congratulates the two other New Zealand-based places who made the list, Hiakai restaurant in Wellington and Camp Glenorchy.

The TIME story reads, “Before New Zealand was home to humans, chatty birds like the tui and kereru dominated the land’s lush green hills and valleys. But the arrival of invasive mammalian predators drove many native species to extinction. In the early 1990s, sanctuary founder Jim Lynch envisioned a pest-proof environment in the heart of Wellington. The result is ZEALANDIA, a 500-acre area encircled by a mesh barrier that keeps out stoats, weasels and more; it’s the world’s first fully fenced urban eco-sanctuary. Since the mesh was erected in 1999, more than 20 species of native wildlife have been reintroduced, including the hihi, one of the country’s rarest birds. In February, ZEALANDIA announced an important milestone: the birth of the sanctuary’s 1,000th hihi chick. The

species, which was nearly extinct before reintroduction efforts began, is one of Zealandia’s success stories.” —Ali Wunderman, TIME


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