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


There is still time to register for kiwi and weka avoidance training in Hokitika as a part of Conservation Week 2019.

Date:  12 September 2019

The training is being held at Goldsborough, just out of Hokitika, and is delivered by a qualified dog aversion specialist.

The training is useful for people who take dogs into areas where they might encounter kiwi or weka.

Kiwi are fairly widespread on the West Coast with strongholds in Haast, Okarito, Taramakau, Taipo, and from Greymouth north to the top of the West Coast.  As well as being a problem for kiwi, dogs are also a major predator of weka. Weka are found in good numbers on the West Coast unlike many areas of NZ where they are now extinct.

Senior Biodiversity Ranger Fiona Anderson says people are likely to encounter weka on their daily walks with dogs, and kiwi may be encountered by people working with dogs on farms, or on bush margins. “Working with your dog so that it understands that birds are not for hunting or chasing is a good way to help our nature thrive on the West Coast, and bird aversion training can help you do this.

“Dogs are the main predator of adult kiwi, which means they are killing the important breeding birds and threatening the future of kiwi. All dogs – no matter the age, gender and size – are capable of crushing the delicate bodies and organs of kiwi.  While the safest option is to ensure kiwi and dogs never meet if dogs are taken into an area where wild kiwi live – this training helps reduce the risk.”

Dog owners wanting to register can email with their preferred booking time between 9.00am and 4.30pm on either Saturday 21 September or Sunday 22 September. Depending on how the dog reacts to voice commands, a collar which delivers a vibration or small electric shock is used during the training, which takes about 20 minutes. This device is only used by the dog training specialist and with agreement of the owner. $10 per dog is required to cover the cost of the training.


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