I was born in NZ but grew up in Canada, returning to NZ in my early 20’s. That was when I first encountered kiwi in Northland and fell in love with the birds
Since then I have always been involved in conservation including riparian planting, wetland protection or getting people to feel passionate about protecting the small piece of bush on the back of their farm. I have listened to many stories about what it used to be like when I was a kid, or we used to hear kiwi… So for me kiwi as a focus is a natural choice moving
forward and look forward to being one of the many people and community groups who are part of turning this story around for generations to come.
There are a lot of high points, and so much of it is around the community participation in kiwi conservation. It is a real pleasure to see kiwi released into a safe environment and knowing that what we are doing is helping to build a future population. I still remember my first release. It was a really special because for the first time that my kids and their grandparents got to see a kiwi up close, and it was really emotional for all the people involved. It was so nice to see that all the hard work that is done for conservation is making a difference.
I think a low point for me was when we conducted kiwi survey in a couple of areas that had reasonable numbers in 2014 yet four years later there were no calls heard. I always think it could have been a bad night, but it really makes me sad to think that the birds from 2014 may have been the last one on the site.
Thoughts for the future
Excitement!! Kiwis for kiwi have a strong focus on growing the western brown population, and they are not doing it alone – they are empowering iwi and community groups to work alongside them. I am excited to work with the Taranaki Kōhanga Kiwi Project at Rotokare and the Kiwi Kōhanga at Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari to build good founding populations inside predator proof enclosures. I am also excited about the conversations with organisations on what will be needed to be able to receive kiwi once the Kōhanga have reached a capacity where we can start moving kiwi from inside protected fences to predator-controlled areas.