A Message from the Chairman
In 1998 we put forward a proposal to create a new Wellington Marine Education Centre and Aquarium at Te Raekaihau on the eastern shore of Lyall Bay.
We got resource consent for that project in 2006 but were later denied consent through an appeal to the Environment Court. We were disappointed at the time, but learned a lot from that experience. We were also overwhelmed by the widespread positive support for what we wanted to achieve and the encouragement to carry on.
That support reinforced our determination to deliver a world-class marine education centre in Wellington, and strengthened our belief in what we believe we can contribute to a better understanding of our marine environment. So we resolved to have another go.
We've just completed a detailed, 4 year feasibility study of locating the new Centre at the old Maranui Quarry and Depot site in Lyall Bay. The results from this study are very positive and promise to deliver an exciting concept and a financially sustainable facility. And now we can honestly say that we have a proposal – the “New Zealand Ocean Exploration Centre – Te Moana, Our Ocean” that’s even better than what was proposed for Te Raekaihau. Of course we’re not there yet, but we're now ready to start the resource consent phase of the project which will be our major focus over the next year.
Te Moana will be far more than an aquarium. It will also serve as a forum for all users of New Zealand’s marine environment. A place where they’ll be able to present their sometimes opposing views through special exhibits, lectures and debates. Our hope for Te Moana it that it’ll help all visitors to understand the important issues affecting wise stewardship of our ocean and to help them make better decisions about how to protect its resources for future generations.
That’s our vision. But right now the site still looks like an empty lot that used to be a tip and a bit of an eyesore on Wellington’s beautiful South Coast.
We know we already have lots of support in the Wellington community for this project, but we’ll need much more. What we really need now is your support if we’re finally going to turn our vision into reality.
Please help us spread the word about the importance of having the new Centre in Wellington and its benefits, not only to Wellington region residents, but to all New Zealanders and our overseas guests.
We’re a few steps closer to achieving our vision and invite you to watch this space for updates on our progress.
Dr Victor Anderlini
Wellington Marine Conservation Trust