Community Consultation

Many of our trustees regularly give talks to community groups, such as schools, University of the Third Age, Rotary Clubs, Probus Club, Otago Conservation Board, Otago Community Trust, Otago Central Rail Trail Trust, Forest & Bird, Sustainable Winegrowing NZ, Central Lakes Trust, the general public at the Blossom Festival and the Thyme Festival, Otago Regional Council’s Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP), and the Central Otago District Council’s LTCCP. We commonly observe a strong desire from people in this region to be involved in conservation projects. People who visit the Trust's Otago skinks (currently held in captivity at DOC and at the Central Stories Museum) delight in what they see and learn from the experience, and they often express a willingness to become involved in reintroducing them into the wild. Trustees are often contacted by people who read or hear about the Trust, wanting to know more and wanting to help out.

The aims of the Trust are supported by a number of agencies, such as the Department of Conservation, Central Otago District Council, local schools, Central Stories Museum and Landcare Research. The trust donated three of their Otago skinks for public display at the Central Stories Museum. The skinks were placed in their display cabinet by the then Govenor General, Dame Sylvia Cartwright, during the formal opening of the museum.

The winter of 2006 was harsh and resulted in the deaths of 4 of our Otago skinks that were kept outdoors. We have since undertaken research on providing thermal refuge for skinks with the help of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (modelling temperature requirements for skinks kept outdoors), the Kiwi and Birdlife Park in Queenstown  (thermal designs), Central Foods (experimental freezer), DOC, and private lizard keepers.

The Trust is supported by a number of foundation members (20), donators (72), volunteers (101), people with a registered interest in the activities of COET (168), and a range of professionals with specialist skills.

Cash donations

  • Central Lakes Trust
  • Department of Conservation
  • Otago Community Trust
  • Lotteries Grants Board
  • Jean Malpas Environmental Trust
  • Transpower CommunityCare Fund
  • World Wide Fund for Nature
  • Gallaway Cook Allan Lawyers
  • MWHGlobal
  • Trustpower
  • Landcare Research
  • Contact Energy
  • Alexandra Primary School
  • Kip McGrath Education Centre
  • Endemic Art Gallery
  • Sealgair Trust
  • 52 private individuals


  • Canon NZ
  • Breen Construction Co. Ltd., Alexandra
  • Mitre 10, Alexandra
  • Mackies Garden Centre, Alexandra
  • Placemakers, Alexandra
  • MasterTrade, Alexandra
  • Viblock
  • Road Metals Co. Ltd.
  • Dunstan Glass Ltd.
  • Trail Journeys
  • Ullrich Aluminium
  • Department of Conservation
  • Otago Polytechnic Cromwell

Professional Services and General support

  • Department of Conservation
  • Central Otago District Council
  • Central Stories Museum & Art Gallery
  • ICL Chartered Accountants Ltd.
  • Checketts McKay Lawyers, Alexandra
  • Otago Conservation Board
  • Landcare Research
  • NIWA
  • Faris Consulting Ltd.
  • Hollyhock Internet
  • Otago Polytechnic Cromwell
  • Kiwi and Birdlife Park, Queenstown
  • Tina Lim, creator of the COET logo