Cocktails for the kākāpō

A drone view of Maungatautari

An art auction and three course dinner have been set up to raise money for the modification of Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari’s predator fence, so that kākāpō may be relocated to the maunga.

The maunga’s conservation team trialled modifications to the fence earlier this year, but are in need of $678,593 before they can start implementing any changes.

The June 9 event will be the inaugural launch of what will be an annual gala dinner, named Mauri of the Maunga. It is to be held at Lake Karāpiro’s Sir Don Rowlands Centre – tickets are to cost $160 each. Patrons can expect a three-course meal provided by Montana Catering, music from local duo Kind ‘a Jazz, and “an exclusive auction of 30 original artworks created by renowned local, national and international artists.”

New Zealand comedian Te Radar is to make an appearance, as well as guest speaker professor Jacqueline Beggs, from the Department of Conservation’s Kākāpō Recovery Team.

Sanctuary Mountain chief executive, Phil Lyons, said that some of the night’s entertainment is to be a “surprise”.

Lyons said that the gala’s auction and ticket sales would directly support the sanctuary’s conservation work. And the sanctuary is also seeking funding from the Lottery Environment and Heritage Fund, and the Kākāpō Recovery Group.With a population of only 201, kākāpō are highly endangered.

Upon receiving funding, it will take 10 staff and 47 days to modify Sanctuary Mountain’s fence. Upon its completion, the team hope to bring six to 10 kākāpō to the maunga in the last quarter of this year.

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