We are proud to be hosting The Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA) 2018 Conference in Wellington from May 21 – May 24; with over 200 delegates from around the world attending.

Delegates from local and international zoos, aquariums, government departments, councils, universities, and conservation NGOs will be just some of the attendees at the three-day conference at Te Papa Tongarewa, the National Museum of New Zealand and additional events and workshops at Wellington Zoo.   

"We’re really excited to be hosting this year’s biennial ZAA Conference in Wellington and we're looking forward to hearing from other Australasian zoos, aquariums and other worldwide organisations that are all working together for animals, people and our environment," says Karen Fifield MNZM, Chief Executive at Wellington Zoo.

"The ZAA Conference will be opened by the Minister of Conservation, Hon Eugenie Sage. We’re also thrilled that we’ll be hearing from Dr Jenny Gray, the President of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums at the conference. The Zoo profession is collaborative globally, so it is important for us to have the worldview of what is happening."

Some of our delegates are travelling from as far afield as Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK, the USA and Hong Kong to attend this conference. This event is a great opportunity for other like-minded individuals and organisations to come together to showcase their work in the environmental and conservation space and develop partnerships for future collaboration.

Key Speakers at the conference include Josh Kempinski, Country Director of Fauna & Flora International (FFI) Vietnam – one of the Zoo’s Conservation Partners; Martin Kessick, Deputy Director-General, Biodiversity at NZ Department of Conservation and Dr Michael Looker, Country Director NZ at The Nature Conservancy. 

"We’re thrilled to be welcoming Josh Kempinski from FFI Vietnam back to Wellington as one of our Key Speakers at this year’s conference. FFI are just one of the many conservation projects that we support through the Zoo’s Conservation Fund and last year Josh represented FFI at Wild Ideas, the Zoo’s Conservation Symposium in March," says Karen.

"All of the delegates attending the ZAA Conference have a passion for conservation and animals; we each share the same understanding of the importance of a collaborative approach towards saving animals in the wild, working with communities and how it can help the planet. We’re looking forward to welcoming the various attendees to New Zealand and showcasing how we are all doing our part in leading the way for a more sustainable future."

"The last time we hosted the conference was in 2007, and Wellington Zoo has changed significantly since then. Wellington Zoo has a great reputation globally as a progressive zoo, so it is nice to be able to welcome our colleagues here so they can see what we’re all about,” says Karen.

As part of the 2018 ZAA Conference, the Zoo will be hosting a range of meetings as well as additional workshops and training courses for the delegates to attend; including an Animal Welfare workshop, Australasian Society of Zoo Keepers (ASZK) training course, Engagement and Environmental Sustainability Advisory Groups workshops.