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’’.
Meghan Parlane and Cocky get to know each other.