Kiwi have been giving a huge helping hand, with Kiwis for kiwi confirming a $744,000 funding grant from the Government’s Community Conservation Partnership Fund.

The funding was announced today by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua.

The grant will, over the next three years, enable Kiwis for kiwi to employ a mentor for advocacy and for working with iwi. It will also enable the employment of a Northland regional kiwi co-ordinator, the region where there is the most potential to maintain viable populations of kiwi in the wild.

Saving the kiwi is going to require that we empower communities all over New Zealand. This grant will help with work like kiwi avoidance training for dogs, training volunteers for kiwi call count monitoring, supporting trapping and predator control operations, and helping communities understand the vulnerability of their local kiwi populations.

Kiwis for kiwi Executive Director Michelle Impey says the roles being funded are all vital to ensure continued support for the 80 community-led kiwi recovery programmes around New Zealand.

“By securing funding for these key roles in our organisation, we’re ensuring we have the ongoing expertise, knowledge and guidance to help support our community groups and programme partners across the country.

“We’re also very excited that the grant extends to the employment of a Funding Development Manager which will help ensure the Trust’s financial sustainability into the future.

“In order to keep supporting our teams on the ground, we need funding for predator control, trapping, dog aversion training, kiwi monitoring, egg collection and so much more. This new Funding Development Manager role will ensure clear strategies are in place to secure ongoing funding to support our kiwi teams on the ground.

The Community Conservation Partnership Fund was announced in March this year and provides $26 million over the next four years to community organisations undertaking natural heritage and recreation projects.

Saving the kiwi is a massive long-term undertaking that is going to require a huge effort by DOC, business and communities.

The partnership with the Bank of New Zealand on kiwi protection is one of DOC’s longest and most successful partnerships. This grant is about extending this work with kiwi further into New Zealand communities.