As part of our ongoing commitment to work together for research and support, we are formalising our partnership with Victoria University of Wellington with the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding between our organisations.

Phoebe the Tuatara on scales

Victoria University resident, Phoebe the Tuatara received treatment at The Nest Te Kōhanga in early 2016

We will continue our collaboration with Victoria University with a focus on identifying opportunities for research, particularly in the areas of sustainability, environmental science, as well as animal care and welfare. Additional opportunities for our organisations to work together will include student placements and internship opportunities at the Zoo, as well as sharing equipment, data and use of facilities.

“We are excited about cementing and celebrating our relationship with Victoria University of Wellington, as we have worked together for many years,” said Karen Fifield MNZM, Chief Executive Wellington Zoo. “Formalising our relationship with Victoria University is vital for our commitment to lead the way in research and science.”

Over the years, the Zoo and Victoria University have worked together across many projects involving visitor experience, behavioural observations of animals at the Zoo, conservation field work and animal cognition research. The Zoo has also provided treatment for Victoria University of Wellington’s Tuatara at The Nest Te Kōhanga.

“Through this partnership, we have the chance to work with Psychology and Biology students from Victoria University of Wellington regarding animal behaviour, cognition and human-animal interactions,” said Karen. “Our future collaborations can identify and shape new opportunities for wildlife research and other research opportunities. We can gain a lot of knowledge from sharing our resources and data with Victoria University and vice versa.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) Professor Frazer Allan will sign the MoU on behalf of Victoria University and said he was excited by the possibilities the agreement opened up. "We've worked closely with Wellington Zoo on a number of projects over the years, but there's so much more we can do with them in future. This agreement sets the foundation for these collaborations and we're looking forward to working together."

With the signing of the MoU, we hope to continue to advance knowledge around excellence in animal care and by participating in collaborative research projects with Victoria University, findings can be shared with other organisations that care for wildlife, and strengthen animal welfare across the globe.

“Wellington Zoo is always working towards a better future for wildlife and how we connect people with animals,” said Karen. “Partnering with an influential organisation like Victoria University of Wellington is fantastic as it drives our mission as a good zoo and sharing our knowledge with other institutions is a part of that.”

The signing of the MoU will take place at the Zoo on Tuesday 13 June from 2.30pm.

We are really looking forward to celebrating our relationship with Victoria University and working with their students across a range of disciplines on new and exciting collaborative projects in the near future.