Trust celebrates fence closing

Mayor Garry Howard closes the fenceThe West Coast Penguin Trust celebrated the symbolic closing of its 2.6km penguin protection fence on Friday with great pride.

Buller Mayor, Garry Howard, kindly stepped in for West Coast MP, Damien O’Connor, to close the fence and he acknowledged the huge effort by the Trust to both fund and build the fence, which must surely be the longest penguin fence in the country if not the world.  Mayor Howard also noted the great value the penguin fence has had at Cape Foulwind, to protect blue penguins from dogs rather than traffic.

The Trust was joined in the celebration by supporters and sponsors including Holcim, Farmlands, Opus and DOC and CLM, leisure pool company from Nelson and beyond, brought their SwimMagic mascot, Kori the Korora.  Other sponsors who couldn’t make it but who are represented on the smart new sign include HealthPost, Maccaferri, NZTA and Resene. 

Around 60 people took part in the celebration, which included a magnificent cake and refreshments generously provided by Greymouth Countdown. 

Kori was joined by two junior blue penguins (Reef and Eva) and other guests included the Conservation Board and the West Coast branch of Forest & Bird.

The Trust decided earlier this year that the fence simply had to be built, but only had funding for some 750m.   Huge thanks go to the sponsors and supporters who have made this project a reality and special thanks go to the Trust’s Ranger, Reuben Lane, who led the project and worked in all weathers, most of them nasty, to get the fence built over the winter.

CLM's Kori the Korora and Reef and Amy as junior korora web

Countdown cake Jill and Reuben new penguin fence sign

Kerry-Jayne Wilson and Buller Mayor Garry Howard Trustees, Ranger and sponsors