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Future of local SPCA assets causes concerns

By Jake Beleski

The SPCA is looking to bring its nationwide branches together under one umbrella, leaving questions around what would happen to the Wairarapa SPCA’s assets, valued at about $500,000.

A meeting at the Carterton Events Centre on Thursday night was used to outline the proposed ‘One SPCA’ project to Wairarapa members, and to provide an update of how things were tracking since Wellington took control of administration in Wairarapa.

Lynda Coogan, a Wairarapa member speaking prior to the meeting, said Wairarapa owned the land on which the closed animal welfare centre sits.

“We are not insolvent.

“We have assets worth half a million dollars and we need to get a centre back here.”

Under the proposed merging into one national body, the organisation will be led by a senior management team consisting of a CEO, and a host of people with specific knowledge in different areas.

If the SPCA secures the votes needed to merge into one entity, centres that oppose the change would be left with few options.

They would keep their assets and liabilities, but among other things they would not be able to operate as an SPCA or hold an inspectorate warrant, and their staff would not be offered transfer into the One SPCA entity.

An SPCA spokesperson said it was understandable residents around the country were concerned about the future of their centres.

“Nothing would happen to those buildings and land because One SPCA will look at the assets right throughout New Zealand and see what will happen with them.

“Money would go into a new building or back into the pot for the benefit of everyone.”

One of the options being explored was to re-open the centre as a doggy day-care centre, as has just happened in Feilding, to create a community connection and source of revenue.

The main priority for Wellington SPCA at this stage is to maintain the Wairarapa facility, and then if the One SPCA project becomes a reality, decisions would be made around what to do next.

Wellington SPCA chief executive Steve Glassey said things had improved since they took control of the Wairarapa SPCA in January 2016.

“When we took on the administration we knew there was a really strong sense of community ownership, and we wanted to be really transparent.

“It’s important people understand the SPCA is not just a building — we’ve restored the same services, if not more, without having a building, and at much more minimal costs.”

He understood there were genuine concerns in the community about the way operations were currently running, but was pleased they have been able to give “sensible, robust answers”.

“I think is some ways the journey that the community has been through, some people are very personally attached to the SPCA, and I think this meeting was really healthy in terms of moving people from the past to the future.”

He said the current regime was not sustainable, meaning changes were needed to ensure every animal was given the same level of care.

“Unless we have a sustainable model, there is no SPCA, and that means there is no animal welfare.

“Whether it’s Karori, Waikanae, Wairarapa . . . we need good services so animals aren’t going to be neglected.”

The final decision on whether the One SPCA constitution is adopted will be made at the AGM in June, and if successful will be implemented from November 1.

1 COMMENT

  1. we are being railroaded!! they have no intention of opening a branch here! what’s more any money made here by the shop will also vanish! we need a completely new animal welfare system.cut our losses and move on!! after all we have bugger all now.lets just move forward

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