16 Oct 2012

Weavers to receive kiwi feathers from offshore zoos

6:17 am on 16 October 2012

The Department of Conservation says a new programme collecting feathers from kiwi bred in overseas zoos will benefit traditional weavers in Maori communities all over New Zealand.

The Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington DC has launched the programme, where feathers from moulting kiwi are collected and given to DOC for distribution.

A blessing ceremony was held at Auckland Zoo on Friday afternoon, for two shipments of the feathers collected from twelve zoos in the United States.

The feathers are highly prized by kairaranga or weavers.

DoC spokesperson Reuben Williams said weavers can contact their local DOC office to apply for feathers.

He said the Smithsonian will collect feathers from participating zoos and ship them to New Zealand each year for distribution.