Kat donates a portion of every book sold to Kiwis for kiwi, the national charity that raises funds to support community kiwi conservation projects. Through her Kuwi books, she has raised over $30,000 which is enough to protect 300 kiwi for a year.
Kat has always been a passionate conservationist taking the lead from her father who worked at the Wildlife Department (now DOC).
“Kiwi have always fascinated me and I would spend hours as a child in the bush imagining I saw kiwi in the shrubbery. Unfortunately, there were none to be seen. So now I’m helping the only way I know how,” said Ms Merewether.
Kat also travels the country talking to primary, intermediate and secondary schools about kiwi conservation, in her role as an official Kiwis for kiwi ambassador, and conducts illustration workshops.
Kiwis for kiwi executive director, Michelle Impey, said Kat had become an invaluable member of the team.
“Kat has the ability to bring kiwi to life in her delightful children’s books and puts so much passion into educating children about the plight of kiwi and inspiring them to do something about it,” said Ms Impey.
The Kuwi series consistently sit on the Top Ten Bestsellers list and three of the books have been translated into te reo Māori. Kat has also created a Kuwi the Kiwi themed colouring book, toys, puzzles, children’s eco-friendly dinnerware and a cookbook.
In her latest book, Kuwi’s Rowdy Crowd, all Kuwi the Kiwi wants is to sit down with a quiet cup of tea but wherever she goes, someone turns up to shatter the peace. The book was inspired by Kat’s own experiences with her three children.
Kat has now sold over 120,000 books, across the 10 titles in the Kuwi the Kiwi series. Her aim was to sell 5000 copies, but she was told that was overly ambitious in New Zealand publishing.
SAVE KIWI/BOOK LAUNCH TOUR SCHEDULE
Sat 6th Oct (11am) TE PAPA | Wellington – Save Kiwi Month Event Book Launch
Thurs 11th Oct (3.30pm) MCLEODS BOOKSellers | Rotorua
Sat 13th Oct (11am) PAPER PLUS | Te Awamutu
Sun 14th Oct (11am) PAPER PLUS | The Base Hamilton
Sat 20th Oct (11am) WARDINI BOOKS | Napier
Sun 21st Oct (11am) WARDINI BOOKS | Havelock North
Sat 27th Oct (11am) THE KIDS’ STORE | Mt Maunganui
Sun 28th Oct (11am) PENNYS BOOKSTORE | Chartwell, Hamilton
Sat 3rd Nov (11am) PAGE & BLACKMORE | Nelson
Sun 11th Nov (9am) GENERAL COLLECTIVE MARKET | Auckland
Sat 17th Nov (11am) WHITE GOLD | Whakatane
Sat 24th Nov (11am) HAPA | The Tannery, Christchurch
Sun 2nd Dec (11am) KINA GALLERY | New Plymouth