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Thanks to an active intervention program, at Whangarei Heads we really do have kiwi in our backyard.

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February 28th, 2020

Kiwi given a wonderful welcome at the Backyard Kiwi release !

Over 400 locals and visitors had the thrill and privilege to welcome 5 more kiwi to the Parua Bay area on a beautiful February Sunday evening.


The release was part of Backyard Kiwi’s ongoing kiwi recovery work in the wider Whangarei Heads and Parua Bay area. The releases and the follow up radio monitoring of the kiwi are a cornerstone of engaging locals with their kiwi. Seeing is believing.

Hancock with kiwi Handler Rolf Fuchs, NRC


Taonga with kiwi handler Adam Willets BHCT

The kiwi were two adult females “Hancock” and “Toanga” (named by Hancock Forestry Managers and North Power), a male named “Kohi” by Robyn Bigelow of WH Weed Action and Kohinui Landcare, and two younger females (“Jemima” named by FOMLI and “Kaitiaki” named by the Whangarei Deaf community).

Helping on the day Rolf Fuchs -NRC and Ngaire Sullivan- Kiwi Coast


Jemima with kiwi handler Julia Brady- DoC


Kaitiaki with kiwi handler Jack Hamilton – Local

Kohi with Todd Hamilton -Backyard kiwi

The released kiwi are part of an ONE program where young chicks are transferred from the Purua area west of Whangarei to the Limestone Island kiwi crèche to grow up to over 1200g before being released back on the mainland. Thanks to Ngati Hine, Purua farmers, DoC, FOMLI (the community group managing Limestone Island), Kiwi Coast, NRC, Kiwis for kiwi funding and others for their support of this program.

NRC, Kiwis for Kiwi, Kiwi Coast

Keep an eye out for Todd as he monitors kiwi

Uncontrolled dogs are the biggest threat to the local kiwi population so this is the message that is given loud and clear at the release – don’t let your dog wander and walk it on a lead! And it is working with over 900 kiwi now on the Whangarei peninsula more kiwi are making their way north of Parua Bay into the “Kiwi Link” area, where locals are working hard to look after their kiwi with stoat trapping and good dog control to repeat the success of the Heads community.

Take the lead


The kiwi have settled well into their new home spending time in the wetlands and in nearby paddocks feeding up on crickets. They will be calling to the local kiwi and sorting out who will settle where.Kaitiaki is still near the release area on the Ross’s property, Kohi and Jemima have headed north down Taraunui Road, and Hancock and Toanga have headed east to the pine block between Owhiwa Road and Taraunui Road. Thanks to all who made their release so successful.

keep and eye out for  Todd’s monthly report on the kiwi and the map tracking their progress.

Special thanks to Wendy Bown for Kiwi release photographs

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