Speaker Profile


Chris Jerram
New Zealand
General Manager
Wellington Zoo Trust
Emergency Response Training and Preparations at Wellington Zoo

How does a progressive Zoo ensure the safety of its staff, visitors and the community, while managing dangerous animals during a natural disaster? What impacts have the events of the March 2019 Christchurch Terror attacks had on emergency preparedness for Zoos in New Zealand? Hear Chris Jerram, General Manager Safety, Assets & Sustainability discuss the evolution of Wellington Zoo's Emergency Response training and emergency procedures and how they balance out the critical risks posed by the combination of dangerous animals and serious potential earthquake risks in a seismically active country. Wellington Zoo is New Zealand's first zoo, and Wellington's oldest conservation organisation, caring for animals since 1906 - they are the Zoo with the biggest heart. The Zoo has been a not for profit charitable trust since 2003. The Trust runs the Zoo on behalf of Wellington City Council. They are a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and follow their commitments to excellence in animal welfare and conservation. They are also part of the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia - a regional organisation for progressive zoos and aquariums in the Australasian region.

]Chris is responsible for the asset management, maintenance, health & safety and environmental sustainability across all areas of Wellington Zoo. He has worked at the Zoo since 2011 including as a Keeper across Herbivores, Carnivores and Reptiles for five years.

Chris brings his knowledge and experience in roading construction and asset management through his previous work with WSP Opus in the UK and DownerNZ in Nelson into his current role.

Chris has a range of responsibilities across the Zoo, from managing maintenance planning, capital development coordination, contract management and strategic development of the Asset Management Plan and Health & Safety action plan.

Chris works closely with the whole Zoo team to ensure the Zoo's rigorous health and safety policies, procedures and emergency protocols are tested and regularly updated to ensure positive outcomes for the Zoo’s staff, visitors and the animals in their care.