Shared entry precinct connects Hamilton Zoo and Waiwhakareke

calendar iconPosted 1 April 2023

The new entry precinct for Hamilton Zoo and Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park officially opened yesterday (Friday 31 March), with a blessing from Te Haa o te Whenua o Kirikiriroa.

The shared entry on Brymer Rd connects two iconic visitor destinations in Hamilton Kirikiriroa, with a waharoa (entryway) carved by Kawharu Green, Simon Te Wheoro and Te Reinga Te Tai.

39 pou adorn the precinct, with artwork by Weka Pene and tamariki from Crawshaw Primary School and Te Kopuku High School. An elevated viewing platform overlooks Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park, Hamilton’s flagship ecologoical restoration project.

The collaborative design efforts represent the significance of this area for the local community and mana whenua.

"Mana whenua have been key in helping realise the stunning outcomes we celebrate, which Hamiltonians and visitors alike can now enjoy,” said Mayor Paula Southgate.

“With one of our most loved and appreciated natural assets now tangibly connected to one of our city’s most-visited destinations, it is my hope that more people will come to understand and value our unique natural environment, and join us in taking care of it for future generations to enjoy.”

 Visitor Destinations Unit Director Lee-Ann Jordan said the new entryway makes it easier for visitors to explore both destinations in one visit.

“These two destinations are so special to Hamilton, and together they provide a natural encounter like no other for locals and visitors.

“It’s a space to learn, explore and encounter wildlife, both native and exotic, and adds to the amazing experiences already on offer in Hamilton Kirikiriroa.

“It’s great to be able to celebrate this milestone with those who have made a significant contribution to getting us here.”