Rotokare kiwi released in Kaitake Range

Rotokare kiwi released in Kaitake Range

In a landmark event, a vanguard of six adult kiwi, born and raised at Rotokare, were released near Pukeiti on Friday 9th April 2021, bringing this taonga back to the Kaitakes after decades of absence. Over the next few days, 10 more kiwi will be released in the range, which is close to Taranaki Maunga and part of the National Park. 

The Taranaki Kōhanga Kiwi at Rotokare (TKKR) project, a collaborative partnership between Rotokare and Taranaki Kiwi Trust, has long envisioned kiwi from the kōhanga repopulating the region. This translocation is the first of many to come in 2021. 

Much of the work to prepare kiwi for release was due to the late Simon Collins, Sanctuary Manager of Rotokare, who died suddenly last month. He was a huge advocate for conservation in the community, and one of the kiwi released was named Haimona in his honour. 

The event was also a significant milestone for hapū Ngāti Tupaia and Ngā Mahanga a Tāiri, as well as the groups managing predator control on the maunga, including the Taranaki Mounga Project, Kaitake Conservation Trust, Towards Predator-free Taranaki, and the Department of Conservation, along with communities from Kaitake and Omata. This milestone could not have been reached without the vision, hard work, support, and collaboration of these organisations, communities, and volunteers across the region. 

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