Nice idea

Manawatu Standard - - Front Page - RICHARD MAYS

RE­GION: When Meghan Par­lane turned 8, she told her friends not to buy her any birth­day presents. In­stead, the year 3 pupil re­quested they make a do­na­tion to the Wild­base Re­cov­ery Cen­tre.

When Meghan Par­lane turned eight, she told her friends not to buy her any birth­day presents.

In­stead, the year 3 pupil at Aokautere School re­quested they make a do­na­tion to the Wild­base Re­cov­ery Cen­tre that is tak­ing shape in the Vic­to­ria Es­planade.

Yes­ter­day, Meghan pre­sented the $170 given to her in place of gifts to Ro­tary club mem­bers Scott Bruce and Rod­ney Wong.

The two vol­un­teers have been help­ing drive the Wild­base project for the past seven years.

Meghan’s mo­ti­va­tion was sim­ple: ‘‘I wanted to help them fix the kiwi’s beak,’’ she said.

Aokautere School is a mem­ber of the Massey Univer­sity Wild­base an­i­mal hospi­tal school spon­sor­ship pro­gramme.

Year 5 and year 6 pupils get to visit the hospi­tal, but much to Meghan’s dis­ap­point­ment, her year 3 class was too young to go.

That didn’t stop her from be­ing a Wild­base Hospi­tal fan and the plight last year of a kiwi with a bro­ken beak par­tic­u­larly res­onated.

Mum Kat Par­lane said the birth­day fundrais­ing idea stemmed in part from that and in part as an an­ti­dote for Meghan’s messy room.

‘‘I told her there would be no birth­day presents if she didn’t clean her room.’’

Par­lane said it didn’t hurt chil­dren to know that there were al­ter­na­tive ways of en­joy­ing birth­days other than by adding to an ac­cu­mu­la­tion of plas­tic toys.

In re­turn for the birth­day do­na­tion, Meghan was pre­sented with a visi­tor’s pass to Massey’s Wild­base hospi­tal for af­ter school on Wed­nes­day Oc­to­ber 25.

Peter Russell, from the Es­planade aviary, let her into the whio en­clo­sure for a close en­counter with the rare blue ducks.

Russell also took Cocky, the 47-year-old talk­ing cock­a­too, from its en­clo­sure so Meghan could meet the bird nose to beak.

The re­sponse from the slightly over­awed young an­i­mal lover – ‘‘It’s ex­cit­ing’’.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/STUFF

Meghan Par­lane and Cocky get to know each other.

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