ZAA NZ Workshops


Half of the ZAA office team were in New Zealand recently for the ZAA NZ Workshops, hosted by Brooklands Zoo in New Plymouth. New Zealand members will soon get an update with the presentations and outcomes from the sessions. In the meantime, here is a summary of the event.

Tineke Joustra from Species 360 provided ZIMS training and ZAA Conservation & ASMP Manager James Biggs and ASMP Support Officer, Matt Clifton delivered Species Management training to give members an opportunity to build upon their ZIMS knowledge, collect and interpret data using population management software.

ZAA Relationships & Collection Development Manager, Todd Jenkinson and Richard Gibson from Auckland Zoo facilitated a session with Species Coordinators presenting the wins and challenges of managed programs within the NZ Fauna TAG.

As a group, common challenges were workshopped, and potential solutions will be explored by the TAG.

Participants completed a live species survey to gauge institutional priorities (Top 10 Native Birds/Reptiles & Top 10 Exotic Birds/Reptiles). Many of the priorities differed from managed programs. This served as a pilot for future regional collection surveys to help inform NZ Fauna TAGs Action Plans. Members who attended the Zoo IHS Session brainstormed a process for prioritising species priorities via a central contact.

ZAA Accreditation Manager, Nicolas de Graaff spoke on the upcoming enhancements to the Accreditation Program requirements program by expanding into other objectives that will provide additional assurance to the community that our members operate with quality and confidence. The proposed requirements will be included in the upcoming release of the PowerPoint presentations.

He also presented on the Program’s validated criteria and findings, which ZAA is monitoring to measure the ‘landscape’ of animal welfare within the membership. This data was presented to the members to discuss what these trends may mean for assessment, and to identify possible ways to validate positive experiences for certain species. ZAA NZ workshopped 4 areas – Kiwi, Kea, Tuatara, and membership wide trends and provided feedback to the room summarising the table discussions.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) provided an update on their processes around standard operating procedures (SOPs) and permitting before joining the day’s sessions to workshop solutions with members.

ZAA Communications Manager, Maigan Thompson introduced Zoos Victoria’s Connect-Understand-Act model as a framework for developing conservation advocacy plans. Each group practiced applying this framework to New Zealand species and discussed the potential to use this framework as a national advocacy strategy to apply when each institution designs their advocacy plans.

Packs from all the presentations, including action plans with next steps were sent to ZAA New Zealand members.