In spite of blustery weather, Prime Minister John Key clearly enjoyed hosting Germany’s Chancellor Merkel at a kiwi release on pest-free Motutapu Island in the beautiful Hauraki Gulf.
Transferring Whauwhau the kiwi to pest-free Motutapu Island
Ngai tai ki Tamaki Chief Executive, James Brown and DOC Partnerships Director, Meg Poutasi welcomed the dignitaries on to the island. Together with specialist bird handler, Hazel Speed, the bird was also welcomed to the island, her new pest-free habitat.
A large media contingent from Germany and New Zealand, snapped the ‘million dollar moment’ of the world leaders holding our national bird.
The bird, a Coromandel brown kiwi, is the 19th release on pest-free Motutapu. Her egg came from Kuaotunu Peninsula, from a population of approximately 600.
The egg was incubated and hatched at Kiwi Encounter in Rotorua, and then transferred to Motutapu by Kiwis for kiwi.
Once the excitement died down, the kiwi, named Whauwhau (named after a river close to where her egg was recovered), was blessed by iwi and released in a quiet glade to enjoy her new, safe habitat.
Prime Minister John Key with Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Ranger Hazel Speed. Hazel is holding the six week old Coromandel brown kiwi named Whauwhau.
Meg Poutasi, Partnerships Director for Tamaki Makaurau, comments "it was a pleasure and a privilege to co-host Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Key with Ngai Tai ki Tamaki. DOC is a global leader in island conservation management of native species and it was a fantastic opportunity to showcase what we do with our valued partners. Motutapu is the permanent home for the Coromandel brown kiwi."