Wellington Zoo and Massey University have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement to establish closer ties and identify more exciting opportunities for both parties.

Wellington Zoo and Massey already have an established service agreement that focuses on the practical and educational element for veterinarians by providing training and specialist teaching for zoo staff. 


Wellington Zoo hosted a team from Massey University for the signing of the MoU. Massey Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas attended the signing and says working in partnership with our communities will enhance Massey’s ability to solve national and global problems and enrich the learning opportunities the university can offer. 


“The MoU with Wellington Zoo expands an already very successful partnership, providing further opportunities for collaboration across several disciplines, Wellington Zoo’s reputation for excellence, innovation and sustainability sits very comfortably with the university’s own values.” 


Professor Brett Gartrell, Director of the Wildbase Research Centre, is excited to see the further benefits for staff and students the agreement will offer. 


“Massey University and Wellington Zoo have already had a long-standing collaboration to train undergraduate and post-graduate veterinarians in zoo animal and wildlife health through Wildbase in the School of Veterinary Science,” Professor Gartrell says.


“A highlight of the co-operative effort has been the successful training of 20 post-graduate veterinary residents with four more currently enrolled in the training programme.” 


The MoU will help to strengthen Wellington Zoo’s partnership with Massey by providing a whole suite of benefits including placements for staff, students and volunteer agreements, educational talks and lectures, research collaborations and working together on funding opportunities that will provide benefits for both Wellington Zoo and Massey communities. 


Wellington Zoo Chief Executive Karen Fifield, MNZM, says the zoo has enjoyed a fantastic working relationship with Massey for many years through the School of Veterinary Science and The Nest Te Kōhanga and with the Masterate Scholarship in Zoo Animal and Wildlife Health. 


“The signing of this MoU is the next step in formalising our relationship beyond our veterinary work and a vital part in our commitment to being a leader in conservation and science in Aotearoa.”


Earlier in October, as part of the agreement, Wellington Zoo trialled a ‘Massey Student Day’, welcoming more than 350 Massey students to the zoo for free – a new initiative that both parties hope to expand on and offer to more of the Massey whānau in the future.