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Our Work

Conservation at the National Aquarium

At the National Aquarium of New Zealand conservation is at the core of everything we do. Our relationships with educational institutions and associations that share similar conservation values is paramount.

We work with schools, scientists and other groups both locally, nationally and throughout the world, to increase awareness of the need to protect natural habitats and aquatic biodiversity.

Scientists use the National Aquarium as a monitoring and research centre and the Aquarium has partnerships with the following organisations to undertake its guardianship role as Te Whare Tangaroa O Aotearoa:

  • Department of Conservation (DOC)
  • Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI)
  • National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA)
  • Hawke's Bay Regional Council (HBRC)
  • Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated (NKII)

Penguin Rehabilitation Centre 

The little penguins/kororā at the National Aquarium of New Zealand are there because they need help from the Aquarium’s specialist staff. They arrived as abandoned chicks, victims of dog attacks, partially sighted, or have become sick in the wild. Some are missing flippers due to getting caught in fishing nylon.

Learn more 

Kiwi Breeding Programme

The National Aquarium of New Zealand breeds brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) as part of the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) captive breeding programme. The kiwi bred are part of a studbook for the species, a carefully managed programme that ensures appropriate breeding of individuals that do not share ancestry. 

These programmes play a key role in protecting threatened species, conservation research and conservation education. This approach involves managing the animals at different ZAA-accredited zoos and aquariums as one big population and supports genetically diverse and sustainable species populations.



ZAA – Zoo & Aquarium Association of Australasia

National Aquarium of New Zealand is an accredited member of the Zoo and Aquarium Association of Australasia (ZAA). As a peak body, the Zoo and Aquarium Association represents the collective voice of the zoos, aquariums, sanctuaries and wildlife parks across Australasia that operate to the highest standards. Members enhance the role of individual zoos and aquariums in conserving wildlife.

Each year, they connect 22 million visitors with nature, educate 1.1 million students about wildlife, and support 629 conservation programmes.

Conservation ZAA


Conservation Qualmark Gold Award LogoQualmark – independent validation of quality tourism businesses

Qualmark helps businesses become more sustainable from a people, planet and profit perspective. Qualmark not only assesses the business, but works with the operator to ensure the business remains competitive and current in the changing operating environment.

The National Aquarium of New Zealand is rated Qualmark Gold. A Gold Sustainable Tourism Award identifies those businesses leading the way in making the New Zealand tourism industry a world class sustainable visitor destination.


International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA)

Conservation IAAPA LogoThe National Aquarium of New Zealand is a member of IAAPA, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions that represents over 5,300 amusement-industry members in more than 100 countries worldwide and operates several global amusement-industry trade shows.

We can't wait to show you our world.

Opening Hours

Daily from 9:00am - 5:00pm
(including public holidays)
last entry 4:30pm


Marine Parade, Napier

+64 6 834 1404

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Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the National Aquarium of New Zealand to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, National Aquarium of New Zealand shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. National Aquarium of New Zealand cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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