Kiwi experience for Tauranga family

Department of Conservation —  10/12/2015

By Robyn Orchard, Communications Advisor

A Tauranga mum and her three children had the “most amazing day ever” last week when they released two kiwi chicks at Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary.

Matthew, Michael and Abbie-Lee with one of the kiwi chicks. Photo: Sian Moffitt.

Matthew, Michael and Abbie-Lee with one of the kiwi chicks

Arna Conder and her three children Michael (8), Matthew (5) and Abbie-Lee (3) won the kiwi release experience through a Save Kiwi Month competition on the DOC Tongariro Facebook page.

The competition required them to answer the Kiwis for kiwi daily kiwi quiz. To help with the quiz the children spent the month finding out interesting kiwi facts and posting them on their bedroom walls.

On the day of the release, mum and the kids travelled over to Taupo. Along the way the family picked up the two kiwi chicks from Rainbow Springs in Rotorua where they had been incubated and hatched.

Ranger Jenny Hayward holding a kiwi chick before release. Photo: Sian Moffitt.

Release time

Mum Arna was very excited as she got to release one kiwi and eight-year-old Michael released the other. It was an incredible experience for both of them.

According to Arna the experience is all Michael has talked about back at school. His favourite moments were releasing the kiwi into it’s new home, seeing the takahē and having a kārearea swoop down and touch his head.

The family do a lot of bush walks together and having this hands on experience with some of our special native birds was fabulous for them and worth the day away from the office and classroom.

Save the Kiwi month is held during October each year. This year, New Zealanders raised over $50,000 in donations, helping to protect more than 500 kiwi. More information about the month can be found on the Kiwis for Kiwi website

6 responses to Kiwi experience for Tauranga family


    Fantastic work winning the kiwi quiz, well researched and a great reward for your effort.


    Gorgeous! It’s a pity I didn’t hear about it, when I was in New Zealand.


    Oh my gosh what a wonderful experience for them – something they will remember and treasure for the rest of their lives. Super jealous!


      Mum Arna says that Michael can’t stop talking and writing about it at school. A very special experience for this family!


        Most definitely. Lucky enough to see a kiwi released into Paparora Kiwi Creche last February and I still treasure that moment but to be up close and personal like that family was – that has to be something to be remember and told to grand children.

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