Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


The call of the kiwi can again be heard in Kahurangi National Park’s Flora Stream area.

Date:  06 May 2010

The call of the kiwi can again be heard in Kahurangi National Park’s Flora Stream area.

In “a dream come true” for the Friends of Flora (FoF) community conservation group, 12 great spotted kiwi/roroa were released into the Flora area on Wednesday 5 May, returning the species to this part of the park. With support from the Department of Conservation, the group moved the kiwi, seven males and five females, from Kahurangi National Park’s Clark River area and released them into burrows in their new home.

FoF chairperson, Maryann Ewers said it was a special day for the Friends of Flora in returning kiwi to their Flora project area where the group has trapped predators for more than nine years to protect and enhance the native wildlife and vegetation.

Gavin Udy (DOC) and Maryann Ewers (FoF) with a great spotted kiwi about to be placed into a burrow in the Flora Stream area.
Gavin Udy (DOC) and Maryann Ewers
(FoF) with a great spotted kiwi about
to be placed into a burrow in the Flora
Stream area

“To have this iconic bird – the great spotted kiwi – back in the Flora after decades of silence has been a 10-year dream and three years of hard work for our FoF volunteers to prepare for it. We welcome the kiwi – long may they breed in safety in the Flora!”

Ms Ewers said it had been a difficult challenge for FoF to raise the initial $24,000, of the total $96,000 funding required for the project to re-establish kiwi in the Flora area.

“We thank the people of Tasman Bay, wider New Zealand and overseas who provided funding support, and in particular Des Lehndorf for his amazing “walk for the kiwi” the1250 km length of the South Island to raise funds. Without their generosity and help, the return of the kiwi to the Flora would not have happened.”

DOC Motueka Area Manager Martin Rodd said the return of kiwi to the Flora catchment would enhance the visitor experience in the area and it had benefits for the great spotted kiwi species.

“Moving great spotted kiwi into this protected area will expand its range in eastern Kahurangi National Park and that supports the goals of BNZ Save the Kiwi nationally. It is an excellent achievement for Friends of Flora as a community conservation group to be returning this iconic New Zealand bird to an area of Kahurangi National Park from which it had disappeared.

“FoF have demonstrated it is possible for voluntary efforts to make a significant difference to native plants and animals over a large area and they have achieved it through sheer grit and determination in a harsh mountainous environment.

“Standing on Mt Lodestone or the Pyramid you can fully appreciate the extent of their predator control work. It’s simply outstanding and creates an environment where visitors can appreciate the outcomes of FoF’s achievements in a reasonably-accessible national park setting.”

Radio transmitters have been placed on the kiwi to monitor them and assess how they adapt to their new home in the Flora. A key indicator as to whether the species can re-establish in the area will be whether or not the kiwi begin to successfully breed and raise chicks there in the next few years.

Additional facts

  • Friends of Flora, currently numbering around 60 volunteers, now maintains more than 65 kilometres of stoat and rat trap lines over 5000 hectares, linking in with DOC pest control.
  • The group was set up in 2001 with the main aim of protecting and where possible returning endemic birds to the Flora Stream.
  • FoF’s efforts together with DOC have enabled endangered whio/blue duck to again breed on Flora Stream.  Whio numbers on the stream have grown from one in 2001 when their project began, to 16 at last count in a December survey.
  • FoF won the Tasman District Council Environmental Award in 2003 and has been highly commended several times.
  • It is the second time great spotted kiwi have been moved in the Tasman region to return the species to an area from which it had disappeared. In 2004, the Department of Conservation moved great spotted kiwi into the Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project area in Nelson Lakes National Park. The kiwi settled into the area and four chicks are known to have hatched since in the Rotoiti project area.


Friends of Flora chairperson, Maryann Ewers, phone +64 3 528 9054

DOC Motueka Area Manager Martin Rodd, phone +64 3 528 1810

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