Shock as more people visit Zealandia when admission prices cut

The Wellingtonian report:

Zealandia enjoyed a bumper weekend after drastically reducing its admission prices.

Zealandia marketing and sales manager Peter Laurenson announced last Thursday that the cost of an adult admission would drop from $28.50 to $17.50, and a child admission would drop from $14.50 to $9.

Child admission also covered all visitors under 18, rather than under 14.

The family pass dropped from $71.50 to $44.

The prices came into effect last Friday and were a response to a second consecutive annual drop in visitor numbers, to 82,749 last year – less than half the target set for the year.

The shortfall in visitors prompted Wellington City Council to agree to an extra $350,000 of funding for the sanctuary in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

It just goes to show how prohibitive the old pricing structure was. For many the new prices will still be too expensive, but at least they’re going in the right direction, hopefully they’ll continue to reduce or become more flexible.

Zealandia is a wonderful asset to the city, and people clearly want to visit it. But there really is no reason why it shouldn’t be able to stand on it’s own two feet and not require annual bail outs by the Council, on top of existing funding commitments.

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6 responses to “Shock as more people visit Zealandia when admission prices cut

  1. The reason it can’t stand on its own two feet is that it is a poorly thought-out conservation project. Early on the trustees decided to live beyond their means and develop a very expensive visitor centre that has left them (or more truthfully, Wellington ratepayers) with crippling, intergenerational debt. Consider Nga Manu… when they wanted a bigger visitor centre, they bought in decommissioned classrooms…good recycling practice and affordable.
    Zealandia trustees invested in a $17million white elephant. That’s money that isn’t helping endangered species. Its time we stopped swallowing the green spin from Zealandia and really checked out how much of our funding is going to conservation on the ground and how much to propping up its corporate facade.

  2. Totally agree (I wish we had a like function on comments) – also things like its fancy rebranding excercise all tell me they have their priorities wrong and sound alarms for me.

    • There are many alarm-bells that should be sounding. There is
      no public input into this exclusive club. There is no management plan open for public comment. Zealandia is not a CCO. The Guardians have majority say in appointing Trustees. Cr Foster’s role as a past trustee, Council representative and now member- appointed trustee is confused and conflicted.

  3. Totally agree with Maggy. And yes WCC Watch, a like button would be great – as I’ve suggested to Stuff, separate like/dislike buttons would be good so then you can see how many likes/dislikes you get, not just an aggregate.

  4. Pingback: The rare NZ Robin at Zealandia Sanctuary | Learning to See Light·

  5. I visited late Sept for the first time and was very put off by the expensive entry fee but when challenging it, turns out entrance to the park itself was only HALF the price they gave you, the rest was for an exhibition that they wanted you to attend.

    False advertising and also no wonder visitor numbers were down by forcing people to pay for two activities (both of which took a good couple of hours apparently) and not making clear unless asked that the park entrance was only half that.

    So it sounds like they have probably dropped to forced exhibition fee but I had a truly delightful time and if I lived in Welly I would visit regularly!

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