Date: 20 March 2009 Source: Office of the Minister of Conservation
Up to ten little spotted kiwi will have a new home in the Hauraki Gulf on Saturday when they are released on Motuihe Island, says Conservation Minister Tim Groser.
A special release ceremony hosted by the Department of Conservation (DOC), Motuihe Trust, tangata whenua and BNZ Save the Kiwi Trust is the first release of kiwi to the pest-free island as part of a restoration programme for the islands of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.
"Wild kiwi living on Motuihe Island - just 30 minutes from downtown Auckland - is a massive achievement for the Motuihe Trust, and everyone involved in the Motuihe Island Restoration Project.
"As the culmination of five years hard work, reaching this point is one of the most exciting steps in the long term restoration programme for the islands of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park," Mr Groser said.
Motuihe Trust, in partnership with DOC, has worked to restore the island by removing pests, re-planting, developing tracks and visitor facilities and returning native birds, lizards and insects.
As part of a nationwide effort to save the species, up to 40 kiwi will eventually be relocated to the island.
"A visit to Motuihe Island presents an amazing opportunity to see our national icon up-close and is sure to cement a special place for Motuihe in the hearts and minds of Aucklanders and visitors alike.
"Motuihe is one of the ‘treasure islands' of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. My congratulations to everyone who has played a part in this restoration project - it is a fantastic addition to New Zealand's unique natural and cultural heritage," Mr Groser said.