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Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre


Nicholson Auto’s work with Wingspan charitable trust


Rotorua and New Zealand are famous for their pristine natural environments and diverse wildlife. These can still be enjoyed by this generation and many to come thanks to the hard work, money and time spent by conservationists like the Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre in Rotorua.

These local legends are a registered charitable trust and national conservation programme who do all they can to protect raptors (no, not the pack-hunting dinosaurs from Jurassic Park) – otherwise known as birds of prey.


The important work of the Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre

For the last 26 years, the Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre has worked tirelessly to handle captive management and rehabilitation of birds of prey, including falcons, hawks and owls. They’ve also strived to educate and raise public awareness around these incredible creatures.

Providing close up encounters with birds of prey for visitors is core to their conservation programme and a unique way for the public to engage with wildlife in a way most never do. Visitors to the centre can see birds in training and witness releases, and even hold threatened species, including the little known NZ Falcon, which is rarer than the Kiwi!

What’s more, the organisation also runs an extended breeding programme for falcons and owls that are released into the wild each year. All these efforts are coordinated by Director and Founder Debby Stewart, along with a passionate and committed permanent staff of three and countless volunteers who sacrifice their time to make a difference to the conservation of birds of prey in NZ.


Nicholson’s work with the Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre

In February 2018, Nicholson Auto canvassed the community to find an organisation that was doing important work deserving of support. The feedback we got praised the Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre, showing that the community is well and truly behind them.

We decided to donate a sign written, brand new Nissan Navara vehicle to help make it easier for the organisation to do their work.

Since then Debby and her team have used the car to help with most of their work. That includes:


  • School visits and promotional initiatives.
  • Research projects in the Kaingaroa forests.
  • Falcon nest monitoring in the Redwood and Whakarewa forests.
  • Bird rescues and rehabilitation work.
  • Picking up supplies and  relocating equipment.
  • Transporting volunteers.
  • Airport transfers for birds in transit.


In a further bid to help the team at Wingspan out, Nicholson Auto hosted a fundraising event to raise money and awareness for the cause. The signed cricket bats from Nicholson Auto’s ambasador, Kane Williamson, proved to be a huge hit!

We also held a Nicholson Auto family day at the centre where staff, partners and kids got to experience birds of prey close up. We’ve loved having the chance to be involved and we’re stoked that Debbie and the team at Wingspan are enjoying working with us to help make a difference:

‘’We embrace being part of the Niccars extended family working with their staff, and customers too! On all occasions, their work has been seamless, professional, and always prompt and co-ordinated. But most of all Nicholson’s have greatly enhanced the profile and community engagement of both organisations and are helping Wingspan drive forwards into the future.”

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