Lo­cal SPCA build­ing opens

Wairarapa News - - FRONT PAGE - JACK BAR­LOW

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.’’

JACK BAR­LOW/STUFF

Welling­ton SPCA’s Nick Tay­lor holds a sign out­side the Wairarapa SPCA branch.

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