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Auckland Zoo Director appointed

Published: 21 June 2018

Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) has appointed Kevin Buley as the new Director of Auckland Zoo.

Kevin Buley has been Deputy Director and Head of Life Sciences at Auckland Zoo since 2010 and Acting Director since January. With a 25-year career in the zoo industry, Buley's previous roles include Head of Zoo Programmes at Chester Zoo, one of the largest zoos in Europe with 20,000+ animals.

Buley's tenure as leader coincides with one of the busiest and most exciting periods in Auckland Zoo's 96-year history, with the commencement of the South East Asia development which will transform the look and feel of almost one fifth of the Zoo.

"Kevin was the leading candidate for the position from a very strong international field. His extensive knowledge and experience in the strategic growth and development of leading zoos makes him the ideal appointment. With his ability to inspire and connect with a wide range of people on wildlife conservation issues, he has played a pivotal role in the growth and success of the zoo," says RFA Chief Executive Chris Brooks.

"Passionate about the social role that Auckland Zoo plays within the wider Auckland community and its growing role as a catalyst for wildlife conservation action in New Zealand and internationally, Kevin will lead the remarkable work the Zoo does as one of New Zealand's leading conservation organisations."

As new Zoo director, Buley succeeds Jonathan Wilcken, who over the past decade has led Auckland Zoo through an extraordinary period of growth, within and outside the Zoo. This has included creating major new developments such as the New Zealand precinct, Te Wao Nui, to establishing the Zoo as a leading wildlife conservation and education organisation - supporting and active in conservation efforts throughout New Zealand and around the world. In January, Wilcken was appointed as RFA's Strategy Director.