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McCaw delights at Pukaha

Hundreds of people came to Pukaha National Wildlife Centre for the Community Open Day yesterday.
The open day brought more than 900 people, of which 43 per cent were from Wairarapa, 29 per cent from Tararua and 28 per cent from other areas.
Marketing manager Sarah Watkins said that, despite the rain leading up, the whole day went smoothly
“Everyone enjoyed the ranger talks such as tuna [eel] feeding, as well as kids activities, kai from Kaka Cafe, market stall from local Tararua and Wairarapa creatives, and stands from Rangitane, Wairarapa Garden Tour, Eketahuna School, MenzShed and many more.”
The wildlife centre offered free entry and free buses from Masterton, Eketahuna and Dannevirke.
Former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw was a special guest at the open day.
McCaw was given a formal powhiri welcome by Rangitane o Wairarapa and Rangitane o Tamaki nui a Rua; followed by a tour of Te Wananga Taiao the Environmental Education Centre under construction at Pukaha.
He greeted his many fans on a walk-through of the ngahere, fed the long-finned eels and tried his hand at carving. McCaw read the children’s book Three Little Kiwi to a packed room of tamariki [children] and adults. Three Little Kiwi is written by Pukaha Ranger Tara Swan and illustrated by local teenager Angelique Hicks.
McCaw said the highlight of the day was meeting Kahurangi the Kokako.
General manager said Emily Court said they were delighted to have McCaw.
“The day was a great success with Richie McCaw being a wonderful presence. We couldn’t do the conservation mahi [work] we do without our partners. The whole community right from Dannevirke to Featherston turned out to enjoy our wildlife and ngahere [forest].”

Helen Holt
Helen Holt
Helen Holt is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age and enjoys reporting on a variety of topics, regularly covering Wairarapa events, tourism, local businesses, and the occasional health story.

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