Wildlife Trust’s bank boost

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The Whakatipu Wildlife Trust’s been given a huge cash boost.

The Hugo Charitable Trust has donated a whopping $75,000 to the organisation, which supports the efforts of trapping groups across the district aiming to make the Wakatipu Basin predator free.

Beginning with six original trapping groups, the trust has grown to 38 groups ranging from Paradise to Kingston.

Wildlife Trust chairman Tom Pryde says the money will be used to fund its executive officer role and cover office expenses.

“Everyone likes to fund traps but without someone to coordinate the efforts we can’t do the major work that needs doing,” he says.

Executive officer Leslie Van Gelder says she’s “amazed” by the donation.

“It’s this kind of philanthropy that makes for enduring change and will make a huge difference towards what the WWT will be able to accomplish now and in the future,” she says.

Maryanne Green, the eldest daughter of Irish philanthropist and business-man the late Hugh Green, known in Ireland as Hugo, founded the Hugo Charitable Trust in May 2017 to continue his philanthropic legacy and to give back to the people of New Zealand.

Maryanne and her husband, Mark Owens, the charitable trust’s chairman, live in Arrowtown.

Maryanne says: “We can see first-hand the positive impact WWT’s trapping programme has had on the Lake Hayes area in terms of the increase in native birdlife.”

She adds: “Protecting New Zealand’s unique bio-diversity will provide many environmental, social, economic and intrinsic benefits and is a responsibility we all share.”

daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz