1 Apr 2010

Sanctuary well worth $17m price tag - Key

3:36 pm on 1 April 2010

The $17 million price tag for a new visitor centre at a wildlife sanctuary in Wellington was money well spent, says Prime Minister John Key.

On Wednesday night, Mr Key opened the Zealandia centre, which was funded by the Government, Wellington City Council and private sponsors.

Construction cost overruns were kept secret until February, and were absorbed by the council into a $10 million interest-free loan to the sanctuary.

Mr Key says the Government's contribution came out of an extra $20 million it put into tourism last year.

He says the visitor centre is a world-class facility that will help Zealandia to rival Te Papa as a tourist attraction.