Local SPCA building opens
Nearly three years after its controversial closure, Wairarapa has its own SPCA building once again.
The centre reopened for six months from Saturday, after a $20,000 Masterton District Council grant last month.
The opening is a pilot project. The Ngaumutawa Rd centre won’t have a vet on site, but will be open on Fridays and Saturdays for animal adoptions.
SPCA Wellington’s Nick Taylor said the reopening was an important event for animal services in Wairarapa.
‘‘We’re really excited to get a presence back in Wairarapa,’’ he said.
‘‘There’s been quite a lot going on behind the scenes, but we realise that, without the use of a building, a lot of people didn’t actually know we’ve been here.’’
He said it was important those wanting to drop animals off call the central SPCA number first, given the Wairarapa centre’s limited abilities.
The centre originally closed in 2015 following financial difficulties. Attempts to reopen in the years since have hit roadblocks, with frequent issues arising over control of the building.
Wairarapa’s SPCA operations are currently run by SPCA Wellington, although there is a move to bring the country’s SPCA offices together under the One SPCA plan.
A vote on whether the Wairarapa SPCA branch will join One SPCA is set to be held on October 24.
In a statement, Wellington SPCA chief executive Steve Glassey stressed the opening was only a pilot programme.
‘‘The one-off grant from the [Masterton] council is very generous, and will help the centre get back on its feet – but it’s not enough to reopen the Masterton Centre on a full-time, permanent basis.
‘‘All SPCA centres rely heavily on donations from their community to be able to operate, and the ongoing support of the Wairarapa community will be essential for the centre.
‘‘We are hopeful that with enough support we can continue to operate this model after the initial six month programme has ended.’’
Wairarapa SPCA member Sarah Lysaght said she was delighted to have the centre open once again.
‘‘I’m very pleased,’’ she said.
‘‘Even though it’s only a pilot for now, it’s still wonderful news. We’ve been pushing for it for a long time now.’’
Wellington SPCA’s Nick Taylor holds a sign outside the Wairarapa SPCA branch.