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New Zealand’s endangered icon supported

27 August 2004

A national fundraising drive to support New Zealand’s endangered icon

We take you for granted – use your name at home, overseas and in the sporting arena. Now it’s time to take call in all favours; would the real kiwi please stand up? Because your time in the spotlight is here.

‘Can you spare a kiwi for a kiwi?’, a two-week fundraising drive launched by the Bank of New Zealand to help secure the future of our national icon, begins this Monday.

The campaign asks the public to donate 20-cent or one-dollar coins to Bank of New Zealand Kiwi Recovery Trust. Both the 20-cent and one-dollar coins feature kiwi.

Bank of New Zealand’s General Manager of Business Development & Strategy, Andrew Whitechurch, says that despite the importance placed on the kiwi in New Zealand, the ‘Can you spare a kiwi for a kiwi?’ campaign is currently the only national fundraising drive directly associated with helping kiwi.

“We all take great pride in the kiwi. It’s an important part of New Zealand’s identity, and this is the only specific national fundraising drive dedicated to saving this national treasure for future generations,” he says.

Mr Whitechurch says the ‘Can you spare a kiwi for a kiwi?’ campaign gives all New Zealanders a chance to show their support for kiwi “in a straightforward and easy way”.

As well as raising funds, the campaign has a major objective of raising awareness of the kiwi’s plight.

“Due to predation by introduced mammals, only five percent of kiwi chicks survive to adulthood. If we don’t do something now, the kiwi could be gone from the wild within our lifetime. It’s time to act,” says Mr Whitechurch.

People can donate money to ‘Can you spare a kiwi for a kiwi?’:

- At any branch of Bank of New Zealand
- In specially designed kiwi donation boxes found at Westfield Shopping Centres
- By using an EFTPOS card at any Bank of New Zealand ATM
-At the online donations facility, using a credit card, at ww.kiwirecovery.org.nz

The Bank of New Zealand Kiwi Recovery Trust is a partnership between Bank of New Zealand and Department of Conservation (DOC). The Trust supports the work of Bank of New Zealand Kiwi Recovery through providing funding grants to DOC, Iwi and community-based kiwi conservation and advocacy projects.

One particularly successful Bank of New Zealand Kiwi Recovery initiative that is helping kiwi populations recover is Operation Nest Egg. Eggs are taken from the wild, hatched in captivity, and then released back in the wild when they are old enough to defend themselves from stoats and cats. Since it began in 1994, almost 400 kiwi have been released back into the wild, and in some areas, kiwi numbers have improved up to 25 percent.

Since 1991, Bank of New Zealand, with the support of its customers, has provided over $5 million in support of kiwi.

Only an estimated 70,000 kiwi are left in the wild, with many individual kiwi specie numbers halving every 12 years in areas where predators are not being managed.

ENDS

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