The vision for the Trust is built around the Isaac’s initial hopes and dreams for the McLeans Island land.
Diana, Lady Isaac knew that with the marked change of quarrying on the landscape a significant opportunity could be taken. She approached her work in a simple, ‘get it done’ mindset. And it is with this down to earth perspective that Lady Isaac embarked on a journey that would span decades – one that continues to this day.
“My husband died suddenly and unexpectedly, which gave us no time to talk or plan for the future. Because of our great interest in conservation, the concept of further development of our existing wildlife park seemed the most productive.
At that time a large block of adjoining land came on the market. As the City Council, Environment Canterbury or the Christchurch International Airport expressed no interest in its purchase, I bought the land. Later the situation clarified in my mind and I saw it as a potential Conservation Park.
Funding the development for conservation purposes had to be considered. I realized that it probably would take 50 to 100 years and the process would be very expensive. But the end result would serve the Department of Conservation as well as the city, Canterbury and New Zealand.
We had commenced the conversion of quarried land in 1977 when The Isaac Wildlife Trust became a reality. Now, more than 50 years on, the evidence of our intention is apparent and the park is becoming renowned in New Zealand and outside this country.”
Lady Diana Isaac, November 2008