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Indications are that the kiwi population on our property in the Maungataniwha Native Forest is of regional significance. In 2005 trust members discovered a remnant kiwi population, unusual as the property had no history of pest control. Pete Shaw consulted with Dr John McLennan, a leading kiwi scientist, and what eventuated was the Maungataniwha Kiwi Project.

Over the years the Maungataniwha Kiwi Project has carved out a name for itself as one of the most prolific and successful kiwi conservation initiatives in the country. It has successfully hatched and released into the wild more than 300 kiwi. 

The goals of the Maungataniwha Kiwi Project are twofold:

     and other carefully-selected kiwi conservation initiatives.


Kiwi eggs are taken from Maungataniwha and incubated. The resulting chicks are then reared in safety at the Cape Sanctuary south of Napier, or at other locations, until they are large enough to defend themselves against stoats (at about 850 grams).

This process of taking eggs from the wild, to be incubated and raised in a controlled environment and then released back to the wild, is part of Operation Nest Egg.

Not all kiwi taken from Maungataniwha as eggs make their way back to that forest. Some are released at Pohokura, Cape Sanctuary, Otanewainuku, the Whirinaki, the Kaweka Ranges and into captive breeding programmes.

Our work with kiwi could not happen without the help and investment from our conservation partners, particularly the Cape Sanctuary, the National Kiwi Hatchery and its funder Ngai Tahu, the Department of Conservation and Kiwis for kiwi, the only national charity dedicated to protecting kiwi.

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