October 2021
The Kākā (Nestor meridionalis) Husbandry Manual is a statement of standards of care for kākā held in captivity.


The Kākā (Nestor meridionalis) Husbandry Manual is a statement of standards of care for kākā held in captivity. It reflects the collective experience of many individuals and organisations that have held kākā in captivity nationally and seeks to document current best practice in husbandry of captive kākā. It also reflects the collective knowledge of researchers and field workers working directly with kākā in-situ and, as such, aims to increase the standard of care the species receives in captivity.

The manual establishes clear minimum standards for some aspects of kākā husbandry.

These minimum standards have not been established with the purpose of eliminating all variations on how holders keep and care for kākā (and/or present them for display). Rather, the standards are there to reassure all those with an interest in kākā, including the captive management community, the Department of Conservation, iwi groups, and the public of New Zealand, that the fundamental requirements of kākā husbandry are being met by all holders.

This manual has been produced by the Institute of Veterinary and Biological Sciences at Massey University and the peer review was led by the Zoo and Aquarium Association of New Zealand. The manual has been reviewed by captive holders. In terms of the Department of Conservation’s Captive Management SOP it is approved for implementation by the Department of Conservation.

Statement of acknowledgement

Kākā are a taonga species for Māori and a commitment for care and support is part of the tikanga of iwi.

Kākā are a Taonga species for Ngai Tāhu and are recognised as such in the Ngai Tāhu Claims Settlement Act 1998. The commitment of Ngai Tāhu whanau to care and support for kākā is part of the tikanga of Ngai Tāhu.

Publication information

This husbandry manual was compiled by postgraduate students undertaking the Massey University course (captive breeding and management of New Zealand Wildlife) under the tutelage of Dr Brett Gartrell and has been formatted and updated by Todd Jenkinson (Zoo & Aquarium Association).

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