October is Save Kiwi Month

The kiwi chick busting from the egg.
Photo by : Kevin Stokes

030.129-Email-header_Get-invlovedOctober is Save Kiwi Month and our national icon needs your support so generations to come can get to meet them.

Kiwis for kiwi Executive Director Michelle Impey explains the role they have in helping to save the kiwi population.

“It is the national campaign to raise awareness of the plight of kiwi, and to raise funds to support work being done on the ground to save them. It is led by Kiwis for kiwi, an independent charity that supports community-led kiwi conservation projects nationally by raising and distributing funds.”

Here in Taranaki our little guy Rockstar is probably one of the better known success stories thanks to the donations and support from the kiwi community.

“Rockstar had an unusual start to life. He’s the only kiwi we know of to have hatched in a car. He was collected from a nest by Taranaki Kiwi Trust, who you have helped to support, when he had started to break through his egg and rushed to Kiwi Encounter in Rotorua. By the time he arrived, he was fully hatched!”, says Michelle Impey.

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Want to help save the kiwi?  Kevin Stokes talks about his role as a volunteer.

Artha Photo by : Sharyn Smart

Stopping at the Taranaki Kiwi Trust stall at the local A&P Show turned into a life changing event for Kevin Stokes after talking with Sue Hardwick-Smith.

“I only got involved because I ran into Sue one day at the Stratford A&P show.  They had a stand there and I got talking with her.  I said yea I don’t mind coming out as a volunteer and helping you.”

Four years later and he is hooked.  He admits that it is something he enjoys doing as he shares the experience with others.

“One of the enjoyments of it really is seeing the kids’ faces. To see their faces’ as they get a chance to hold these birds is priceless.

“It is just something that I have an interest in and I’ve got the time to do it.  While I am fit enough to do it I will keep doing it.”

Right from his first trip Kevin has been interested in helping save our national icon.

“The first time I went out it was an egg lift with Sid Marsh.  I went out a few more times and then it just took off from there.

“I enjoy it because I can do it on my own.  For the monitoring I just come and go as I want to.

“It also means I have been able to share the field work with Sue which leaves her time to do the administration side of things as well.”

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Sparky the kiwi visits Taranaki

Sharyn and Alex Smart
Alex and Kate Smart



Recently I got to share an amazing experience with my children.

We got to meet Sparky a very special North Island brown kiwi.




Sparky arrived at the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre in 2002 after losing his leg in an illegal gin trap.

Founders Robert and Robyn Webb started the Centre in 1992 and now rescue then care for and rehabilitate over 1,200 birds each year.  They also spend many hours on education and community projects.

Sparky was three and a half months old when he arrived from a forest up in Keri Keri after being caught in a gin trap or possum trap.  When it catches the kiwi the trap jaws are so powerful they will either break the leg or cut it nearly right off.  The result of that is the kiwi would normally have to be put down.

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Kiwi chick released on Mt Taranaki

“It was an honour to handle and release him,” said Brian Thomas.

tdn kiwi standInto the wild : Eltham couple Audrey & Brian Thomas arrive with Squeak for his release onto Mt Taranaki.

Article and photo by SHARYN SMART – Published in the Taranaki Daily News – 22/05/2013

Eltham farmer Brian Thomas saw the reward for months of hard work when he released the kiwi chick Squeak on to Mt Taranaki earlier this month.

The young bird, which carries Mr Thomas’ own nickname, is the first chick from the Taranaki Kohanga Kiwi at Rotokare project to be released into the wild.

“I originally got involved with the project by being a volunteer, working on the predator fence at Rotokare,” Mr Thomas said.

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