TSB Product Manager Tim Hills with his children Hazel and Harriet couriering kiwi eggs from Tongapōrutu in North Taranaki to the Crombie Lockwood Kiwi Burrow in Taupō
During breeding season, kiwi dogs and trackers spend their days thrashing through the bush searching for well-hidden (often covered in mud) kiwi eggs so they can carefully package them up and send them on their next journey: to an incubation facility.
But have you ever wondered how the eggs arrive at the incubation facility in the first place? The answer? With some very careful driving.
Kiwis for kiwi has an enthusiastic team of driving volunteers who are on call whenever the team out in the bush find an egg that needs to be transported to safety. But we’re always on the lookout for new people to join the team, particularly in these busy breeding months.
That’s why we’re so excited to announce our latest partnership with TSB. TSB is partnering with Kiwis for kiwi and using its community volunteer leave programme to help turn around the plight of our national bird.
Kiwi chicks that hatch in the wild only have a 5% likelihood of making it to adulthood if they’re left to fend for themselves, but when they’re taken out of the wild and away from predators like stoats and ferrets, that jumps to 85%.
TSB CEO Donna Cooper says the Bank’s employees are proud to be helping kiwi get a better start in life by taking on the role of TSB Kiwi Couriers and transporting eggs and chicks to safe incubation facilities.
“We recently introduced ‘TSB for Good’, giving every employee an annual day of paid leave to volunteer and make a difference for the good of New Zealand communities,” says Ms Cooper.
All TSB employees can take one day of volunteering leave a year to give back their time and skills to participate in charity work or local events to support and positively impact the communities we’re a part of. TSB staff can choose to use their volunteer day to be a TSB Kiwi Courier, or to partner with another organisation of their choice.
“We’re excited to partner with Kiwis for kiwi and on top of that, provide hundreds of volunteer hours each year for our people to carefully drive kiwi eggs and chicks from breeding pairs in the wild to incubation facilities across the country.”
Once the precious cargo arrives at the incubation facility, viable eggs will hatch and the chicks will be raised for the first few, most vulnerable, weeks of their lives before being released into a predator-free sanctuary where they’ll find mates and start breeding themselves.
“As a New Zealand bank owned by a philanthropic trust, TSB’s all about giving back, so we’re very proud of our new partnership with Kiwis for kiwi which takes our commitment to community good one step further,” says Ms Cooper.
Kiwis for kiwi executive director Michelle Impey says the success of kiwi conservation relies extensively on the work of volunteers.
“In the same way that you can’t always predict when a pregnant mum-to-be will go into labour, you don’t always know when a kiwi egg or chick might be found in the wild,” Ms Impey says.
“We really lean on our kiwi drivers to be able to drop everything when we find an egg because time is of the essence to get them out of the wild and back into the warmth and safety of an incubator.
“TSB’s commitment to having dedicated kiwi couriers at the ready to transport these precious taonga will make a big difference to the success of our Save the kiwi strategy and overall vision: to take kiwi from endangered to everywhere.”