Kiwis for kiwi welcomes Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment report:
"Taonga of an Island Nation: Saving New Zealand's Birds"

Kiwis for kiwi welcomes the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report released today which could change the future for kiwi.

Michelle Impey, chief executive of Kiwis for kiwi, the national organisation which provides support and funding to community projects, said that if the report’s recommendations are implemented, the effectiveness of current conservation efforts will be hugely enhanced.

“Our strategy to grow kiwi by 2% is dependent on a number of factors, many of which have been addressed in this report.

Kiwis for kiwi exists to support and enhance the commitment and efforts of community groups and we have long recognised the need to make these groups sustainable by ongoing funding and support.  Dr Wright has underlined the need for supporting long-serving community groups to enable a consistent and cohesive approach to bird conservation.  Funding is critical to ensure the survival and growth of these projects while reducing the amount of admin and management.  More time spent killing stoats and less on form filling.”

Kiwis for kiwi’s strategy involves stocking predator-free fenced or island sites, accelerating the time to when we can harvest from them to create new kiwi populations on the mainland. This strategy could see a reversal in the decline of kiwi on the North Island in 5-10 years and, for the first time ever, kiwi p­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­opulations growing.

Dr John McLennan, trustee of Kiwis for kiwi, says it is heartening to see the report recommends the development of principals and policies to provide clarity on how bird population genetics are managed.

“One of our challenges with kiwi is to create a level of genetic diversity to minimise inbreeding and create strong populations going forward.  This is also the case with other endangered bird species.   Given the growth of kiwi populations is based on intensifying breeding and translocation there needs to be clear guidelines on how we retain the remaining genetic diversity before it slips away.”

Michelle Impey believes the landmark report will serve all conservation organisations well.

“We are encouraged by the pragmatic recommendations that will ensure conservation dollars and efforts are focused on conserving New Zealand’s natural heritage.

“We are excited by the potential of the report and possibilities it represents for the return of kiwi.”