Auckland Zoo is celebrating its centenary today, a century during which generations of New Zealanders have been at the heart of its journey to becoming the wildlife conservation organisation it is today.

“On the eve of venturing into our next century together, there couldn’t be a better time than our 100th birthday to stand back and reflect on how our Zoo has evolved and to recognise all the people and all the work that have brought us here,” says Auckland Zoo director, Kevin Buley.

“From our early life as a mainly treeless menagerie, the Zoo has metamorphosed both physically and philosophically. Our transition is thanks to many former visionary leaders, the passion, skills, and dedication of so many past and present Zoo staff, and our amazing community, sponsors, supporters, and conservation partners,” says Kevin.

“It is also primarily because of the incredible ongoing support and trust of Auckland Council and Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, that we are here today – as Auckland’s zoo – realising our mission ‘to bring people together to build a future for wildlife’. And given the enormous and daunting challenges that our planet faces - with climate change, escalating biodiversity loss, and our own species’ increasing urbanisation and disconnection from nature – our role as a modern zoo at the heart of our community, has never been more important.”

Since Auckland city councillors first established Auckland Zoo on its current site in Western Springs in 1922, Aucklanders, people across New Zealand and around the world have made more than 35 million visits. During that same period, Auckland’s population has risen from 82,000 to 1.7 million people, and the global population from 1.9 to 8 billion.

“In 2022, as a modern wildlife conservation science organisation and a Zoo very much of and for Aotearoa New Zealand, we’re really proud to be making a positive difference for wildlife and for people.

“The work we do outside the Zoo and around the country supporting our conservation partners such as the Department of Conservation is now just as critical to who we are as an organisation as the work we do within the Zoo.

In acknowledging the Zoo’s centenary, Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown says: “Throughout its 100-year history, Auckland Zoo has played an important role in bringing Aucklanders together, to spend time with each other and connect with the natural world. We are fortunate to have a world-class zoo here in our region.

“I want to congratulate the team at Auckland Zoo on this milestone, and for all the good work that they do.”

Centenary exhibition (16 December 2022 – 17 July 2023)

Our centenary would not be complete without an opportunity for our communities to share in the celebrations. From today, Zoo visitors can enjoy the dynamic and interactive experience of a special centenary exhibition ‘100 Years – A century of wild life at Auckland Zoo’, free to all visitors in the Zoo’s exhibition space, ‘The Domes’, until 17 July 2023.

“This stunning exhibition offers a really rich and fascinating journey into our Zoo’s past, present and future, and has been made possible thanks to the very generous support of our new principal partner, Barfoot & Thompson, to whom we’re extremely grateful,” says Auckland Zoo director, Kevin Buley.

Barfoot & Thompson Managing Director Peter Thompson says the company loves supporting initiatives that help make Auckland a great place to live and is excited to partner with a local organisation that’s focused on helping its community and wildlife to thrive.

“Many Aucklanders will have fond memories with family and friends at the Zoo, expanding their knowledge and love of wildlife, and being inspired to take better care of our amazing natural environment.

“As we look forward to marking our own 100 years of business in Auckland, it is our privilege to support Auckland Zoo in a way that not only helps celebrate their impact in the city over the past century, but also contributes to the work of the organisation and other hard-working conservationists in the years to come.”