We are very excited to announce that the Zoo has had its Be. Accessible certification upgraded this year from Silver to Gold.

Be.Accessible Presentation July 3

Community Engagement Coordinator Emilia Murray, Be. Accessible Coach Sandie Waddell and Visitor Engagement Manager, Jude Turner

On Monday the Zoo formally received its Gold certificate from Be.Accessible’s Sandie Waddell at an event held at the Zoo, coinciding with the opening of the upgraded learning space, The Living Room.

The event was attended by various stakeholders including Deputy Mayor Paul Eagle. 

“Wellington City Council is a strong supporter of the great work Be. Accessible does with organisations like Wellington Zoo. Improvements to accessibility help to achieve a Wellington in which everyone, regardless of their needs, can enjoy all the fantastic things our city has to offer,” Councillor Eagle said.

Be. Accessible has been partnering with the Zoo since 2015 and worked closely with us to achieve the Gold certification, which was awarded after a Warrant of Fitness was conducted by Be. Accessible in April 2017.

“The team at Wellington Zoo were great to work with and listened to our feedback, resulting in several improvements to accessibility at the Zoo,” Sandie Waddell, Be. Accessible Coach said.

The improvements included a new accessibility map – to show a gentler route around the Zoo, new ramps over gutters, and workshops for staff to brush up on their New Zealand Sign Language.

The Zoo's Chief Executive, Karen Fifield MNZM said she was thrilled with the Gold certification. 

“We’re delighted that our hard work has paid off, resulting in a more accessible zoo that allows more people to enjoy Wellington Zoo and connect with our animals and our conservation messages,” said Karen.

Emilia Murray, Sandie Waddell, Mauritz Basson, Karen Fifield

Emilia Murray, Sandie Waddell, Mauritz Basson and Karen Fifield

The upgraded learning space, The Living Room was also officially opened at the event.

“The work we have done on The Living Room shows our commitment to providing inspiring spaces for learning programmes and striving to always keep improving the Wellington Zoo experience,” Ms Fifield said.

The new learning space is more engaging and has more usable space which is especially useful for learners with accessibility needs.

Be.Accessible Presentation group shot

Wellington Zoo staff with stakeholders and Be. Accessible