Rotorua's iconic tourist destination Rainbow Springs is set to have rehomed its wildlife before permanent closure in October.
After going into hibernation in April 2020, the owner of Rotorua's Rainbow Springs Nature Park announced the proposed closure of the attraction in February.
At the beginning of March it confirmed it intended to go ahead with those plans.
While South Island iwi Ngāi Tahu, which has owned the attraction since 2004, earlier said all its animals would be rehomed by September, Ngāi Tahu Tourism general manager Jolanda Cave said the process was on track to finish by October and Rainbow Springs would then close permanently as planned.
"It has been working closely with the Zoo and Aquarium Association and the Department of Conservation to rehome Rainbow Springs' wildlife."
Conversations with mana whenua were continuing to take place.
Cave said Ngāi Tahu Tourism remained committed to the future of its other Rotorua attraction, Agrodome, which had moved to being open seven days in time for the school holidays.
The National Kiwi Hatchery, which is located at Rainbow Springs, will be moved to the Agrodome site.
When it made the announcement in March Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporate Services general manager Jo Allison said the decision came after a thorough consultation process with affected staff.
"All options were explored in the context of long-term sustainability and closure was not an option taken lightly."
While a much-loved attraction for the local community, Allison said it also brought with it substantial operating costs which Ngāi Tahu Tourism has had under consideration for a long time.
Coupled with the current restricted and uncertain climate, it had become clear the park was not financially viable, she said.
"We evaluated all options including changing the price point, offering a modified experience, and catering to the domestic market only – unfortunately, the unique environment of Rainbow Springs Nature Park has been prohibitive."