Animal Care Keeper- Entry Level

Natureland has an exciting opportunity for an entry-level animal care job with our team, a rare opportunity to learn about how zoos contribute to conservation, and to be a part of a charity committed to community outreach.

We are in our fourth year as a charity, and continue to develop our site and expand our role in the community. We are looking for an outgoing team member who excels in dynamic situations and is excited to help lead the transformation of our animal habitats and visitor experiences.

The role entails working with our visitor outreach animals, including domestic species, and some entry level avian care. An ability to work outdoors in all weather, and to be active throughout the day, is essential.

This job is a great opportunity for those who want a career with a purpose-driven organisation, and like to share their love of nature with others. Preference will be given to candidates who can demonstrate a track record of being a team player and having a positive attitude. Experience working with animals is desired.  

This position requires working on weekends and some public holidays. Applications close 23 August at end of business day.

Interested candidates should e-mail a cover letter and resume to

Combing Forces to Care for Kea -

Article by Jacquie Walters

If you haven’t visited Natureland in a while you have missed the remarkable transformation that is taking place there under the guidance of Natureland Director Meg Rutledge and her dedicated team of staff and trustees.
Native plantings are flourishing and the zoo has taken the very deliberate stance of representing the region around it in terms of flora and fauna. There’s an area that’s been set aside to showcase some of the major regional crops and produce, for example. Importantly, Natureland is also shining a light on one of our region’s most iconic species – the kea.

Kea are regarded by many as the most intelligent bird species in the world, says Meg. “They are able to use tools, adapt and learn and teach strategies to other birds, and they can work together to solve problems. they have also shown that they can move into new habitats in search of food – such as above the treeline.”

Read more:


Natureland Wildlife Trust Recognized for Positive Animal Welfare

Natureland Wildlife Trust voluntarily sought a formal audit of animal welfare, undertaken by the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA) in October 2015. This is the first audit undergone under the new Trust, and since the ZAA Accreditation Program began. The accreditation programme focuses on moving beyond minimizing negative states, and achieving positive affective states.  Having choice over physical, environmental, and behavioural aspects, as well as the opportunity for mental wellbeing and sound health are the key requirements. The programme is an industry first, and helps to set welfare as a key factor for being a good zoo.


Director Meg Rutledge says “I am delighted with our achievement. Since taking over in November 2013, animal welfare has been our top priority. Natureland is a small zoo with a long history, and now the community can be proud to know that we endeavor to provide our animals best lives possible.”


Our animals receive medical care from Halifax Veterinary Centre, themselves a leader in best practice for the nation. Additionally, Natureland’s animal care team leader, Brigitte Kreigenhofer, specialized in wild animal nutrition. Senior keeper Jennifer Pettigrew is a qualified vet nurse, and our three animal keepers each have degrees and qualifications relevant to animal science.


Combined, the passion and dedication of the team has transformed Natureland from a nostalgic local treasure into an asset for regional biodiversity conservation and a site the community can be proud of.


The team at Natureland has had a busy couple of years making steady and significant improvements to the small charity’s operation. Volunteers and local organizations have supported the charity in upgrading some of the older areas of the zoo bit by bit. Nelson City Council remains a key supporter. Natureland is preparing to open a new area of the zoo devoted to breeding native avian species for release on 21 June 2016. Animal welfare is the cornerstone to all of these outstanding achievements in only a few short years.


First kakariki breeding programme at Natureland

The sound of kakariki chirping could be heard amongst the other animals at Natureland as a flock of the native parrots made themselves at home in a purpose built aviary. 

Natureland Wildlife Trust is breeding the kakariki on behalf of Project Janszoon and the Department of Conservation to help boost the native parrot population in the Abel Tasman National Park. 

Eight of the yellow-crowned parakeets were transferred from Long Island in Queen Charlotte Sound to Natureland on Wednesday.