The recent budget announcement that $11.2 million is to be distributed to help with kiwi conservation over the next four years is very exciting news. Of this, Kiwis for kiwi will receive $3.5 million over the four years to help fund community-led conservation groups, with the remaining $7.7 million being allocated to the Department of Conservation (DOC).

There are currently more than 90 community-led kiwi conservation groups in New Zealand involving thousands of passionate Kiwis working in their local communities, often in their own time and with their own money to protect kiwi.

These groups are making a huge difference and we know where the work is being done, kiwi numbers are increasing.  This funding will help these groups to continue their good work, which has been recognised as critically important.

However, we still have a lot further to go. With the work done to date, we have slowed the decline of kiwi to around 2% per year. But we’re still losing them. To ensure their future, we really need to turn this decline into growth and to do that, we’re going to need significantly more funding.

The Government has taken a stand with this funding announcement, highlighting the plight of kiwi and providing the means to start to address the problem in a more integrated and assertive manner. We now need to carry this momentum forward to make a real impact.

The name ‘Kiwis for kiwi’ was chosen when the trust became independent in 2012 because we believe that Kiwis need to come together in order to save our national icon. This has never been truer than now, when we have a unique opportunity to scale up our efforts in order to turn kiwi’s fate around.

The future of kiwi is in our hands. By bringing together support from Government, trusts and foundations, business and individuals, we can ensure that kiwi survive in the wild for generations to come. We are calling on all New Zealanders to be Kiwis for kiwi and help us achieve this.