A new education centre, with Profile Group as the lead sponsor, was opened recently within the 3,363ha mountain reserve, which is surrounded by a 47km-long predator-proof fence. Called ‘Manu Korokii Profile Group Education Centre,’ the $846,000 facility included windows and doors gifted by APL in its high-end Metro Series of products (project designer Antanas Procuta, of PAUA Architects). The centre will be the key component in Sanctuary Mountain’s conservation education programme catering for individuals, schools, tertiary and community groups.
Profile Group, which had its origins 50 years ago at nearby Cambridge, has a strong sponsorship focus on the South Waikato, and has a three-year partnership in place with Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari (2022 to 2025) to support SMM’s Ecological and Cultural Restoration Project. The Group provides funds annually in exchange for biodiversity credits under a scheme developed by carbon management and certification company, Ekos.
The name Manu Korokii was gifted by Ngāti Korokī Kahukura, reflecting the flight of a songbird and the mātauranga (knowledge) that is imparted through SMM’s education facilitators, not to mention the manu that sing their songs across the maunga.
After a year of construction and more than five years of planning, the new centre was opened in February by Waipā District Council Mayor, Susan O'Regan, who cut the ribbon with SMM co-chairs Don Scarlett and Norma Taute. The building was blessed by mana whenua led by Ngāti Korokī Kahukura Trust co-chair Karaitiana Tamatea and blessed by Tahau Thompson and Maihi Bennett of Ngāti Hauā.
Mikayla Plaw, Executive Director at Profile Group, pointed out the company’s other involvement with the Maungatautari ecosystem through its Takapoto Estate — a conservation property on the lower flanks of the mountain adjoining Lake Karapiro. Takapoto sits within the Profile Group of businesses, and its project team are involved in avian conservation as well as anti-predator and planting programmes.
The manufacturer of the new centre’s windows and doors was Wight Aluminium, from the Vantage network. One feature was high-level opening sashes operated electronically from below. The product was supplied in Duratec Matt Black powdercoat. The double-glazing was gifted by Profile Group subsidiary, AGP.