With more than 27 kiwi killed each week by predators, the country’s first Save Kiwi Week is an urgent shout for help to save our national icon.

Organised by the charity, Kiwis for kiwi, Save Kiwi Week runs nationwide from 14-20 October. Sir Graham Henry, Kiwis for Kiwi Patron will launch the campaign at Auckland Zoo’s kiwi hatching facility at 2pm on Tuesday 15 October.

Sir Graham commented he was pleased to be part of a organistion working to keep our namesake alive.

“A future New Zealand without kiwi is unthinkable. I call on everyone to support Save Kiwi Week

“We Kiwis are battlers. We take on big international challenges and work hard to succeed. Let’s take some of that energy and use it to on home turf to win the fight for our national bird.”

Kiwis for kiwi executive director, Michelle Impey says unless we take action now, kiwi could be gone from the Mainland in our lifetime.

“The tragic reality is that without protection, 95 percent of kiwi are killed in the wild before they are old enough to breed.

“Save Kiwi Week is about raising funds for predator control. In areas that are actively managed, kiwi survival rate increases from five to 60 percent. We can reverse the decline. With support from two-legged Kiwis, our bird can flourish.”

The national campaign has a target of raising $100,000 which will protect 1,000 kiwi and their chicks from stoats, weasels, rats and other pests.

Many of the 85 plus kiwi care groups and Department of Conservation around the country have organised events that their local community can take part in. There are also unique experiences for auction on Trade Me from the groups such as a scenic flight over Whangarei Heads to search for kiwi.

Everyone signing up on www.kiwisforkiwi.org during October go in the draw to win a trip with Sir Graham Henry to release a kiwi back to the wild.

Ms Impey stated that Save Kiwi Week is also about raising awareness of the plight of our national icon.

“Research carried out last year found that only half of New Zealanders knew that that kiwi were in decline.”

All kiwi types are endangered. Some, like the rowi with a population of just 375 are critically scarce. Only a century ago, kiwi numbered in the millions.

To make a do nation, to be in the draw to win a trip releasing kiwi back to the wild with Sir Graham Henry, to find out what is happening in your community and to find out how you can help go to: www.kiwisforkiwi.org.

Save Kiwi Week is generously supported by BNZ, Department of Conservation, Trade Me, Air NZ and Mr Vintage.

Kiwis for Kiwi™ is the trading name of The Kiwi Trust. Established in October 2012, it carries on more than two decades of work by BNZ Save the Kiwi Trust, to help protect kiwi and the places they live. Thousands of New Zealanders have donated to this cause, with a vision to take kiwi from endangered to everywhere. Kiwis for kiwi raises and distributes funds to community, DOC and volunteer groups helping save kiwi throughout the country.