Minister opens new school room

1st December 2014


Rotoroa Island has a new purpose-built school house. It was officially opened by the Minister of Conservation, the Hon. Maggie Barry on Friday 28 November.

The facility, which has been named the Salisbury Room in honour of Rotoroa's island managers, Phil and Ginnene Salisbury, will serve several purposes but has been designed primarily to support and further the Trust's aim to have the island busy year round with environmental education.

RIT Chairman, Barrie Brown said: "The name is to recognise the hard work and dedication that our island managers Phil and Ginnene Salisbury have put into the Rotoroa Island project over many years. The Trustees really appreciate this and would like to honour the family with this gesture."

The Salisbury Room will be the new home of the environmental education programme for schools developed by Auckland Zoo. Now in its third term of delivery, the programme was launched in October 2013 and has seen over 850 students and 28 schools participate to date. The programme focuses on providing students with practical hands-on wildlife management experiences, including radio telemetry, bird banding and reptile surveying. One school, Long Bay College, has played a key role in building over 500 nesting and roosting boxes for the 40 tieke (saddleback) translocated to the island in May.

The Salisbury Room will provide a dedicated space for school groups and Zoo staff, enabling more children to visit the island and participate in the programme.

The size and flexible layout of the room means that it will also work well for community groups, organisations and corporates.

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