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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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June 7th, 2024

2024 May Report

May was a very busy month – heaps of meetings and plenty of action on the ground.

Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum AGM

The WHLF is a crucial platform that allows many of our community groups to carry out their important work at the Heads. Thanks to all those that were able to make the WHLF AGM/Field trip.  The field trip was hosted by Martin Hunt and involved a walk through their enhanced wetlands and then to the production pine forest that is being transitioned back to native bush – very interesting stuff!  This was followed by the AGM. Congratulations and thanks to Helen Moodie, Carol Martin and Audrey Rhodes on being elected Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. Also thank you to our hard working committee who have revitalised WHLF activity. Great to hear about the wide range of work being carried out in the district by the various Landcare groups, much thanks to the WHLF platform. 

WHLF AGM Field Trip


Hunt’s wetland

Whangarei Heads High Value Area meeting

The WHHVA working group met to consider the proposed budgets for Backyard Kiwi and Weed Action Whangarei Heads for 2024-2025.  This work is excellent value for money for the effective kiwi recovery work and equates to 50 cents/week/local rate payer. It is an effective and efficient way of funding to do local work. Thank you to the ratepayers and to the NRC for their ongoing management of this funding of our community work. If you would like more details I have attached our annual report that covers the BYK work for the year.

Other meetings for the month included:

Whangarei Mustelid Network meeting, Weed Action and Aki Tai Here Pilot Project information meeting, Kiwi Coast Strategic Planning Workshop. Heaps going on and plenty of planning for future work!

Annul Kiwi Count

Our Kiwi Counting team is trying to work around the difficult weather conditions (calm clear nights are what we want for kiwi counting) at the 19 sites throughout the Heads.  The first counting window finishes on June 14 and the way things are going some sites will need to use the backup window of June 25-July 14 which isn’t ideal as many kiwi will be nesting by then (and not calling).

Kiwi return to mainland from BOI Moturoa Island:

This historic event was a huge team effort led by Kiwi Coast. It was a privilege to be part of it.  More details at:

Upcoming Northland Pest Control Workshop

Sunday June 16, at the Okaihau Community Hall

These are always great events with heaps of good speakers and networking between groups. Big thanks to Ngaire and Kiwi Coast for organising and running it – see the Kiwi Coast website for details.

Backyard Kiwi monitored kiwi update for May 24

Now things are getting damper the kiwi seem to be more settled – hopefully feeding up, calling hard  and cuddling up for the breeding season.

Whangarei Heads/Parua Bay Radio monitored kiwi:   

Chookie –  In his usual area of pampas/pines/wetland south of Martins’ hut.  Owhiwa Road. 11.5 hours activity.

Teina – He has done his usual short loop and dropped back down to the bottom of his valley of pampas and pines at the north end of Martins’ pine block. 11 hours activity.

Beach Girl – She is cruising the pampas at the top end of Teina’s valley on the Martins’ and Halses’ blocks boundary between Owhiwa and Ross Roads.  Her nightly activity is 12 hours.

Murdoch  – He and Om have headed back from the end of Ross Road towards the end of Owhiwa Road again. They are in the native bush there.  11.5 hours activity.

Om – Like Murdoch she is in the valley of native bush between Ross Road and Owhiwa Road.  As they are definitely looking like a pair and in a safe spot we caught up with Om and removed her tx. She was 2600g, 146.0mm bill and Mod condition. Her bill has definitely stopped growing so she has reached adulthood.   12.5 hours of nightly activity.  She was in an old remnant kiwi burrow with Murdoch 100m away (see pic).

Te Motu Manu Hine –  Rolf, Dai and I caught up with her in the NRC pine block behind the Money Factory. She was 2450g and 135.5mm bill length cf 1950g and 121.0mm this time last year. 12.5 hours nightly activity.


Te Manu Motu Hine with Dai

Humphries – Still hanging on the NE side of the Martins’ block nearer Tauranui Road, 12 hours nightly activity.

Tanker – In pampas just across the creek from his release spot. Did his tx change.  2100g and 106.5mm and Mod condition. His bill has stopped growing. A very busy 14.5 hours activity. Not showing any ill effects of his encounter with a milk tanker back in November.

Wally – Down in the pines/pampas/wetland by the estuary at the end of Campbell Road.  11 hours activity.

Waewae – Still in the pampas, weeds and gorse in the McLeod Bay Horse paddock. 12 hours activity.

Manaaki – Still cruising in the middle of Martins’ pine block on Owhiwa Road.  His nightly activity is 12 hours nightly.

Sandy – He is still only 500m from his release area.  12.5 hours nightly activity.

Kotahitanga  – After his big walk to Pataua North  Carl from PNLC has continued to track him.

Whareora Landcare area:

Fetu Mama – She is still in the NRC pine blocks but has moved back north towards her usual area near Mt Tiger Road. 11.5 hours nightly activity.

 Fish – PNLC monitoring.

Purua ONE dads

Busy start to May doing tx changes before the breeding season. Most of the dads are looking in reasonable condition and with females so we are hoping for a better breeding season this year.

Tahi – In a shallow burrow just inside the eastern reserve boundary fence with Alisons’ farm.  Did tx change 2050g, Mod condition, 12.5 hours of activity. With the same female as last year. She was 2600g and Good condition.

Tahi and mate

Tahi’s burrow

Moondust  – Julia from DoC  monitoring. 12 hours activity. He is in his usual spot up behind Lovells’ Irving Road woolshed.

Buddha – Usual area in the paddock north of McGraths’ quarry.  12 hours of activity.

Macio  – Just East of the big Kauri on “Kauri Tree Ridge” in south Purua.  Did tx change. 2200g and Good condition. No female but was with one back in Feb.

Otiria –  He has moved back from the paddock to the south end of the Purua Reserve near the big slip. Did his tx change. 109.2mm, 2050g, Mod, condition, not with a female (yet to find him with a girl).

64 – Still in the paddock south of the reserve.  11 hours activity.

Rua and mate

Rua’s burrow

Rua – Up the back of Alisons’ farm. Did his tx change; 2200g and Mod condition, 11.5 hours activity.  With the same female as last year, she was 2800g and Mod condition. No sign of the very old girl that was with them last year.

Derek – On  “Stump” Ridge South-East Purua reserve. Did tx change. 1950g and Poor condition. 12.5 hours activity. With the same female as last year – she was 2450g and Poor-Mod condition.

Fletcher – In the northern end of Purua Reserve behind Lovells’ airstrip. 10 hours activity.

Sam – This new guy is still in the paddock  just SW of the reserve. Very busy 13.5 hours nightly activity.

Trapping/ toxin pulses

May catches: Stoats 1, Weasels 8, Cats 0, Rats 114, Hedgehogs 5 and possums 10.  Usual autumn spike in weasel catches and plenty of rats.


Cheers Todd

Todd Hamilton

Backyard Kiwi Project Manager

Whangarei Heads Landcare Forum

M 021 1145 385

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