Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Kiwi Release

Have you seen a kiwi before? Gwyn got a glimpse of them this morning at Moana Lodge, where 20 Rowis, the most endangered kiwi species in the world were prepped up for release onto Mana island.

This was all part of the conservation efforts of the Department of Conservation (DOC) and BNZ Save the Kiwi Trust, to help repopulate the critically endangered species.

Preparing the Rowi Kiwi for flight...
Ironically, kiwis are flightless birds. The really sad thing is that there remains only about 300 of them left in the world. They are a national symbol for New Zealand, so strong the association that New Zealanders have also been known around the world as Kiwis!

Though flightless, Kiwis have wings. Can you spot them?

Lucky Austin got to greet them!

And touch em!
It turned out to be quite a massive operation with the media, military and helicopters involved.

Austin got to join the media crew on board to Mana island.

First batch, off they went.
Some representatives from the Maori community were involved as well, including a Maori chief who led prayers before the operation took place.

"It was such an amazing experience and you could feel that it was a special and once in a lifetime project" quote Gwyn.

2nd batch ready to take off.

Safety briefing beforehand.

BNZ Operation Nest Egg underway.
Thanks to the good people from DOC.
It was such a surreal experience being able to witness the process from the prep stage in a garage to the Maori prayers and actual take off. This will certainly be a moment to remember for a long time. =)


  1. "flight of the kiwi" Great piece. Glad you guys are having such a meaningful experience in NZ

  2. Thanks Cat! We are savoring every moment of our experience. You guys take care too!