Sanctuary for animals moves to Hutt
The cat’s out of the bag and HUHA is heading to Hutt Valley for a new start.
Animal shelter HUHA (Helping you help animals) will be moving into a new site on Haywards Hill once the final details are ironed out.
‘‘We were trying to fit our dreams into 18 acres (7.3 hectares),’’ HUHA founder Carolyn Press-McKenzie said of their previous shelter in a Manakau block off State Highway 1. ‘‘The sense of freedom is going to be amazing.’’
HUHA is an animal sanctuary that rescues and rehabilitates any animals in need from ex-circus monkeys to stray dogs. TIt also provides advice and support for pet owners and have a strict nokill policy.
Press-McKenzie said they were just working through the due diligence stage of real estate proceedings and expected everything to be settled by February 20.
The 63.5-hectare section is on Old Haywards Road, next to the Haywards Electricity Substation, on what used to be a block of forestry land.
Press-McKenzie was working through resource consents for the shelter and driveway access issues and had been in contact with both the Upper Hutt City Council and the Hutt City Council.
While HUHA’s new address would be in Lower Hutt, driveway access to the property fell under the jurisdiction of Upper Hutt City Council.
Press-McKenzie described the land sale as an ‘‘early pregnancy’’. The paperwork wasn’t finalised but she believed they needed to say something - especially when people noticed a for sale sign going up at their old premises.
‘‘We are very transparent and very open - we have to be,’’ she said. Since HUHA relied on donations, it was important to be clear about what the organisation was doing.
Currently the land had nothing on it, not even trees from its previous life as forestry land.
Press-McKenzie described it as looking ‘‘post-apocalyptic’’.
‘‘But even in its worst state, it’s still wonderful for us.’’
HUHA would have to build everything from scratch, creating purpose-built structures with the help of donations and the community. The new space would accommodate up to 30 dogs, have space for horses and a better environment for rehabilitating native birds after surgery.
Future plans for the site include developing an off-theleash area for nearby dog owners as well as an evacuation point pet owners can take their animals in case of tsunami.
HUHA moved from its location in Otaki after neighbours objected to its application for resource consent for the animal shelter. Its new closest neighbours live over the hill.
‘‘We talk about our successes - and our mistakes.’’