The Kea is a protected species that lives in forests and mountainous areas across the South Island. They are known as cheeky birds, watch out!

About us

The Wildlife Veterinary Trust is a charitable trust founded in 2007. The Trust saw the need for and established a hospital facility in Christchurch dedicated to treating and rehabilitating sick and injured native birds in the South Island of New Zealand.

Prior to this there was no such facility in the South Island. Many endangered birds needing medical care, such as kea and kiwi, were flown to the North Island for treatment. The time and travel involved in sending these birds north meant that they were exposed to additional stress and delays in treatment, which can impact significantly on their survival. Having a South Island facility allows prompt, professional and specialised treatment of these valuable species.

Since opening its doors to patients in December 2014, the South Island Wildlife Hospital has successfully treated, rehabilitated and released many wild and native birds. You can follow their stories on the Hospital's Facebook page.

The front entrance of the WIidlife Hospital Vet Pauline releasing a bird
Volunteer holding a kea for medical exam

South Island Wildlife Hospital volunteers

The Hospital has a team of trained volunteers led by an experienced veterinarian. Our volunteers are passionate about our wildlife and take on all aspects of the Hospital's day-to-day operations including:

  • manning the phone
  • assist with the treatment of sick and injured natives
  • covering rostered shifts at the hospital
  • maintaining the hospital gardens and facilities
  • helping with fundraising
  • public speaking, and
  • everything else involved with keeping the hospital running.

As well as treating and rehabilitating patients, the Hospital and its volunteers are involved in ongoing wildlife education, training and research. If you would like further information, please contact us.

South Island Wildlife Hospital trustees

Dave Matheson

Trustee & Veterinarian

Jordan Frizzell


Karen Talbot


Michele Hood


Pauline Howard

Trustee, Veterinarian & Building Maintenance Coordinator

South Island Wildlife Hospital staff

Tyne Becker

Volunteer Coordinator

Brian Curtis


Deb Casutt