100th Kiwi enters Wild


100th Kiwi Released into the Wild in Hawke's Bay.

The 100th kiwi to be raised by the “Save Our Kiwi Hawke‟s Bay” project, was released into the Kaweka Ranges at lunchtime today, after a formal celebration was held at the Pan Pac Kiwi Creche, inland of Tutira.

Ruud Kleinpaste (“the Bugman”) helped guide the event, that included a message of congratulations from the Governor General, His Excellency Anand Satyanand, who has twice visited the Kiwi Crèche. Following a blessing of the kiwi “Parauri” by local Kaumatua, the invited guests were given the opportunity to see the kiwi. “Parauri” was then placed in the care of Managing Director of Pan Pac Forest Products, Doug Ducker and Hawke‟s Bay Regional Council Chairman, Fenton Wilson, who released the juvenile kiwi to its new home in the wild Kaweka Ranges.

Around 130 invited guests, school children, locals and supporters celebrated the release. The kiwi was named by Bevan Taylor, on behalf of the hapū of Tangoio Marae. The “Save Our Kiwi Hawke‟s Bay” project is led by the Environment, Conservation and Outdoor Education Trust (ECOED) and with support from the community and Department of Conservation, is working to secure the wild kiwi population in Hawke‟s Bay from extinction.

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ECOED Trust Chairman, Matthew Lawson, said “Newly hatched chicks rescued from the wild Kaweka Ranges grow up safe in a pest free environment at the „Pan Pac Kiwi Creche‟, before they are returned to the wild, tough and ready to „beat up‟ stoats. The release of the 100th kiwi into the Kaweka Ranges is a major milestone for the restoration of kiwi in Hawke‟s Bay”.

Major supporters of the project include Pan Pac Forest Products, Hawke‟s Bay Regional Council, Eastern and Central Community Trust, BNZ Save the Kiwi Trust and Hawke‟s Bay Proteins.

With less than 1,000 kiwi left in the wild in Hawke‟s Bay, the “Save Our Kiwi Hawke‟s Bay” plan includes monitoring wild kiwi, recovering chicks and raising the chicks to approximately 1 kg in the Pan Pac Kiwi Crèche. Schools are actively encouraged to visit the Crèche and learn first hand about kiwi before they are returned to the wild. At 1 kg a wild kiwi is able to defend itself against their most common predator the stoat. The first kiwi from the programme was raised and released back in 2003.