Results of the Independent review of Karori Sanctuary Trust

December 10, 2012

from Kevin Brady, Interim Board Chair

Dear Members

This memo is to advise you of the results of the independent review carried out by Dawn Ferguson and the next steps from here.

The independent review, together with the interim board’s response and the Council official’s recommendations will be forwarded to the Councillors today for consideration by the Strategy & Policy Committee to be held on 13 December.   The interim board response, the independent report and the Council’s recommendations can be accessed via the links above.

In summary, the review concluded that Karori Sanctuary Trust (KST) has been very successful in many of its objectives, but there is room to improve in various areas including the challenge of securing adequate financial resources. The report also acknowledges Zealandia plays a significant role in Wellington’s 2040 vision, and provides 19 recommendations.

The major recommendations include a change in governance structure to allow for more community involvement; increase operating revenue; strengthen partnerships and three financial options (moderate assistance from WCC, more substantial assistance from WCC recognising Zealandia has been operating with a very tight budget, or becoming a Council Controlled Organisation).

The interim board also notes that during the review, KST’s financial forecasts were reviewed by WCC officials and concluded that they are robust.

In the main the interim board has accepted the independent review’s recommendations.  Some recommendations will be referred to the new board for consideration as appropriate.   With regards to the level of financial support from WCC, the interim board also acknowledges that the amount of funding required by KST will depend on the success of its various strategies (for example, the fundraising strategy) over the next few years.

To this end, the interim board recommends, and endorsed by Council officials, that WCC:

  • provides KST with its original funding request of a total of $2.1m for the three years 2012-13 to 2014-15.  That is: $350,000 more than what Council has allowed for in the 2012-22 Long Term Plan.
  • agrees KST will require an ongoing level of funding beyond 2014-15, and that the level will be reviewed and included in the 2014/15 Long Term Plan and the relevant annual plans.

In relation to the proposed governance structure, the interim board fully supports giving members more say, and we have been working with the guardians and WCC officials in defining this, including better clarity on the roles of the guardians.   The Trust board will remain as the primary board responsible for the governance and overall running of KST.

The next steps from here are:

  • the papers will be considered  by the Strategy & Policy Committee on 13 December.
  • the recommendations from the Strategy & Policy Committee will be considered by full Council on 19 December.

On behalf of the interim board, I would like to thank Dawn Ferguson for her report, the many interviewees and staff for their time, and the members for your support and patience during the last few months as we worked through the independent review.   We would also like to acknowledge the support of WCC officials in this process.   The interim board looks forward to a positive outcome from WCC.


Kevin Brady
Interim Board Chair