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Takamoana was released into the Maungataniwha Native Forest in February 2012 by Kiwi icon and FLRT patron Rachel Hunter. He was the 100th kiwi to be hatched and released into the wild by the Trust.

He is named after an influential local Maori chief in the 1800s. Karaitiana Takamoana was also the great-great-grandfather of Simon Hall, the driving force behind the FLR Trust.

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Tanekaha (Strong Man) was the 200th kiwi chick reared by the Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust and its conservation partners. He was returned to the bush in April 2015 by Aucklander Lynda Holswich who was reunited with her own ‘fledgling’ at the event.

Her son Aaron was flown home secretly from Australia to be with his mother for the release.

Tanekaha was incubated at the National Kiwi Hatchery in Encounter in Rotorua and reared in a predator-free area at the Cape Sanctuary south of Napier.

The Trust’s primary sponsor, Auckland-based Tasti Products, secretly got in touch with Aaron and arranged to fly him home to be reunited with his mother at the release.

There was an obvious bond between Ms Holswich and Tanekaha. He was calm and still with her, and in no hurry to burrow into the nest we had prepared for him.

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This very ordinary brown kiwi with his unremarkable name signalled a truly outstanding feat of endangered species conservation in June 2017 when he became the 200th young adult bird to be released into the Maungataniwha Native Forest. This was significant because population modelling suggests that a population of 200 will keep the kiwi presence at Maungataniwha self-sustaining and viable for the next 30 years.

Kevin was released into the Maungataniwha Native Forest in inland Hawke’s Bay by Troy Bowker and his

9-year-old son Mason, of Wellington.

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Zelda’s a bit of a TV star. She was the 350th juvenile kiwi to be rescued by our Maungataniwha Kiwi Programme with the help of Operation Nest Egg, and the last of our class of 2018/2019 to be returned to the wild. Her egg came from Maungataiwha and she was released at our nearby Pohokura property, where we aim to re-establish a viable population of around 200 kiwi. Just as we have done at Maungataniwha. We're spreading the love!

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Buddy is fondly known by our team as Duddy as he always sits on infertile eggs. Flatman always does a runner at transmitter-changing time; he bolts whenever Barry gets within 20 metres of him. Tawa, another male, has been known to go from one nest to another during a breeding season. Ben weighs in at 2.8kgs and is very laid-back and cruisy in nature, just like his namesake the helicopter pilot. Spud is the largest of the kiwis at Maungataniwa, weighing in at around 3kgs, and is also very placid in nature. And on the flip side we have Waiau, who weighs in at 1.7kgs and is one of our best breeders.

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