9 Jul 2013

Rare kiwi chick released into new home

3:15 pm on 9 July 2013

One of the most endangered types of kiwi has been released on Mana Island off the Kapiti Coast, with the Department of Conservation hoping it will eventually breed with other kiwi of the same species already there.

The rowi kiwi chick from Blumine Island near Marlborough was released on Monday by Conservation Minister Nick Smith and Ngatitoa iwi representatives.

A conservation ranger, Iain Graham, says because the chick is the first to be born since five breeding pairs were taken to Blumine Island, it's important it's looked after.

He says as Mana Island is predator-free, it gives chicks the best chance of surviving and passing on their genes. After that, they can be taken to Franz Josef to supplement the population there.

Ngatitoa spokesperson Hohepa Potene says it was a special day, seeing such a rare bird given a new home. "It just gives us all hope".

Mr Potene says he hopes the iwi and the department can work together so future generations can have connections with the special birds.