With half the remedial work completed, Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary is expected to reopen by the end of this year — fingers crossed.
In a fresh update this week, a trustee of the company which owns the park said the target was to have members of the public through the doors before the year's out.
Laurie Margrain, a trustee of Bolton Equities, said Ministry of Primary Industries compliance would be required to reopen the park even after completion of remedial works.
The sanctuary was first closed to the public on July 1, 2014, when upgrade to the animal enclosures began, and continues to this day.
Bolton Equities has spent more than $1 million on work at the once-popular tourist drawcard since taking over from previous owners, Earth Crest, in mid-2014.
Margrain said the park would reopen when it was ready.
"We're over halfway through our building programme but there's still a lot of work to be done. The target for reopening is the end of the year and we'll keep working towards it."
Margrain said the spend of well over $1m demonstrated the park's commitment to do the job well and that took time.
The park's forcus was on animal welfare and staff safety, he said. The trustees would work constructively with MPI and other agencies during the remedial work process.
MPI first ordered the park closed to the public between July 1 and July 31, 2014, while the animal enclosures were upgraded to meet new standards.
The closure was extended until August 31 the same year. But three years later the upgrade has still not been finished.
Margrain said the animals were in good health and all have remained on site during the work.
The park has 27 animals— 19 lions, five tigers, two cheetahs and a leopard.
If it is granted the necessary approvals under the Biosecurity Act and can open to the public, there is neither a timeframe by which it must open, nor a necessity to do so. It will be at the discretion of the park owners.