What New Zealand native species are you?

Elizabeth Marenzi —  14/09/2011

Here’s a bit of fun for Conservation Week. Use the chart to find out what native species you most closely match. Click on the picture to make it bigger (or download it as a PDF, 360K).

So, you’re a…



You’re one of the world’s mightiest characters. You’re tall and strong and are respected by many. But with great power comes great responsibility, and you find that often you’re reassuring people that ‘My home is your home’ as you make room for another to settle in and take shelter. Because of your strength (if not physically then definitely your inner) you can persevere through tough times, and it is for this reason that people recognise your qualities and feel like they should protect you. With strong links to New Zealand culture, you take pride in your heritage and know a lot about what went on long before those around you arrived!



Sometimes it’s as if you’re from another time, holding a wise and quiet knowledge of the past’s secrets. You’re easily affected by weather and temperature extremes—when it’s warmer you’re more inclined to potter in the garage, discuss our chances in the World Cup, and can find it hard to listen properly to those around you. When it’s cold, you feel the need to call up friends and discuss small details in depth, go shopping or curl up on the couch and watch some trashy TV. Like Beyonce, you’re a survivor and you don’t let predatory people or tough times bring you down.



You’re a quiet sort, although you’re not afraid to speak up or call out when you’re in your element—which is any time after six in the evening. Definitely not a morning person, you focus best once the day winds down and the stars come out. With an unexplained connection to Maori traditions, you’ve almost got psychic traits. Often your musings on what could happen end up being right, and sometimes you could have eyes in the back of your head for all people under your watch know. But you are just looking out for them, somewhat of a guardian really.



Always sticking your nose into other people’s business, you can’t help wanting to know what’s going on around you. You’re just so intelligent that boredom comes easily and as soon as anything new or out of the ordinary comes along, you’re there. You can talk your way into or out of any situation and have no trouble twisting people around your little finger. A burning need to pull apart and know how new gizmos work means accidental breakages are an accepted part of your life. But with the gift of the gab, you manage to charm everyone and you’re known for your cheek and mischievous ways.

Southern right whale

Southern right whale

You work best on your own and enjoy spending time in your own company. In no rush, you move through life at your own pace—you know you’ll get there in the end. You tend to feel a bit panicky when you’re in unknown territory, so you like to know that home’s comforts are there at all times, and not straying too far from these brings you a firm sense of security. You spent a lot of time with your mother growing up, and as such you are (or will be) close with your own offspring. Despite not being overly social, your presence is inspiring and many find you quite breathtaking. For this reason you always seem to end up in front of the camera as people quickly try to snap a pose.

What am I?

I came out as a kea, which is quite accurate for me (as far as accuracy goes when comparing oneself to trees, reptiles, birds and whales!) Just like kea I am fun loving, adore gadgets, and have a ‘beak’ that works quite hard for me. I am told that kea can cause conflict and be annoying though, and I’d rather pretend I don’t share those traits!

If I could be any native species I think I’d be a fantail/pīwakawaka. Even though they’re fairly common I always feel a thrill when I see one—and who would choose to belong to an endangered species anyway? Fantails are adaptable, energetic and cute. And, of course, no one gets annoyed with fantails.

Anyway, make sure you leave a reply letting me know what you came out as, and whether you think it’s right.

I’m particularly interested to see if other native species represent as strongly in our replies as kea. I have a suspicion that kea are more likely to take the time to do this kind of quiz (and then post a response). What do you think? Can you kauri, tuatara, morepork/ruru and southern right whale personalities prove me wrong?

Elizabeth Marenzi


Elizabeth is part of the communications team at DOC. She enjoys reconnecting the urban desk jockeys of the world with nature—believing it to be the best anecdote for “tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people.”

7 responses to What New Zealand native species are you?


    Kea. Damn that anarchist SOH …. kept trying to work it over to Ruru, but in all honesty couldn’t juggle it to work! Must have some Ruru tendancies, I’m up late a lot!!

    Good post, that quiz makes you think about what you actually know about some of our reasonably well-known native fauna and flora.


    We keep getting things wrong doing the test. Green should be Yes, and red should be No. It would make things much easier. But after focusing a lot, it turns out that 80% of people who took the test here are Kea! I so wanted to be a Kauri, but I’m not really strong or tall 🙁

    Sirocco the Spokesbird 15/09/2011 at 8:03 pm

    Skraaark! I’m a kea! Never thought you’d hear me say that I bet. Lots of my friends on Facebook and Twitter have let me know what they are and, so far, just about all of us are either morepork/ruru or kea. I haven’t come across a kauri yet. If this tall, strong and respected native was your match, then leave a comment – there must be one out there somewhere!


    Mine came out with Morepork/ruru, it is pretty close.


    Funny as I am a Kea which is what I would have chosen to be if I had been offered a choice. But my personal favorite animal from my human point of view is the Kakapo Parrot. Sirocco the Rock Star Spokesbird in particular. Now I don’t know that I would want to be a Kakapo because they can’t fly but as a Kea I would have Kakapo’s as my best friends.

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  1. Conservation Week 2011 « nzreader - September 14, 2011

    […] the Conservation Blog at the moment is a flow chart thing that helps you to see what New Zealand native species you are.  I definitely recommend checking […]