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Auckland Zoo festival of all things ‘Kiwi’!

27 January 2005

Auckland Zoo festival of all things ‘Kiwi’! Sunday 6 February (10am–4pm)

Get along to Auckland Zoo’s Bank of New Zealand Kiwi Icon Day on Sunday 6 February, a full-on Kiwi festival, celebrating all our ‘Kiwi icons’ and the great Kiwi lifestyle!

The day-long festival will feature cultural performances from Maori, Niuean, and Cook Island groups, including a special lunchtime performance by Mika’s Urban Pacifica dance group Toro Toro. A group of youngsters will even get the opportunity to participate in a special 30-minute workshop with the dancers, and then perform their workshopped dance. There’ll be live New Zealand music, including a performance by NZ Idol runner-up Michael Murphy, a wide range of conservation organisations, the great ‘New Zealand barbie’, arts and crafts stalls, and some of your favourite Kiwi ‘characters’.

On entry to the Zoo every child will receive their special ‘New Zooland’ Passport. It’s a passport with a quiz, a great way for Kiwi kids to learn about native flora and fauna and conservation issues. They’ll travel around the Zoo to visit the various conservation groups, answering questions to get their passports stamped.

A fully stamped passport will get kids into a draw to win the chance (for a family of 4) to go on a kiwi chick release to Motuora Island, courtesy of Bank of New Zealand Kiwi Recovery Trust and its partners Bank of New Zealand, and the Department of Conservation (DOC). A special second prize will also be on offer, and there’ll be other cool spot prizes and give-aways!

“What better way to spend Waitangi Day, than celebrating all things kiwi,” says Marnie Jane Samphier, National Sponsorship Manager at Bank of New Zealand. “We always enjoy working with Auckland Zoo, and kiwi is a topic dear to all our hearts at Bank of New Zealand, so we’re thrilled to be involved with this event.”

Conservation groups involved include the Department of Conservation, Bank of New Zealand Kiwi Recovery Trust, Forest & Bird, Ark in the Park, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), and Auckland Regional Council’s Biosecurity and Natural Heritage teams.

Also supporting the day will be Mainland, who’ll have their Hutton’s trailer on site so Kiwis and non-Kiwis alike can sample the great New Zealand barbie and all that much loved ‘trad’ Kiwi fare including sausages, KIWI bacon sandwiches, cheerios, cheese, and more.

Meet Homo sapiens ‘Kev & Trace’ Making a comeback following their debut at the Zoo’s first Kiwi Icon Day last year, will be Kiwi couple ‘Kev & Trace’, who can be found at the WATTIES Homo sapiens Exhibit. Come and meet these happy Kiwi campers at their bush campsite. They’ve supposedly gained a few more social skills, so be prepared for a lot more interaction, though their care and awareness of their environment is seriously under-developed! Maybe you can help our worst behaved ‘animals’. Visitors can get along to an ‘Encounter’-type show with a resident Zookeeper at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm, and gain greater insights into the lifestyle and habits of this infamous Kiwi couple.

There’ll also be extra keeper encounters throughout the day, in addition to the usual public holiday schedule.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate everything great about New Zealand on our national day,” says Auckland Zoo Events Co-ordinator Jackie Sanders.

“With a great diversity of cultural groups performing, some cool Kiwi music, a strong conservation element, lots of stalls and interactive activities to enjoy, it’s a day not to be missed!


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