6 May 2024

Rebuilding Ōtorohanga​ Kiwi House

From Afternoons, 1:14 pm on 6 May 2024

A major redevelopment project is underway at the iconic Ōtorohanga Kiwi House in Waikato, but how do you rebuild a 50 year-old zoo?  

According to its general manager Jo Russell - you start from the back. That means the first of seven zones to be completed is one that includes a purpose-built breeding facility for the Mahoenui giant wētā.

The critically endangered wētā can grow up to 7cm and weighs about 15 grams - it's the  "puppy" of the insect world.

Jo explains their work to Jesse.

Picture of man holding a giant weta.

Kiwi House Wildlife Manager Mat Ronaldson gives a male Mahoenui Giant wētā a health check. Photo: Ōtorohanga Kiwi House