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Kiwi Encounter Opens At Rainbow Springs Rotorua

Media Release
2 December 2004

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Photo of "George" hatched on 7 November at a weight of 369gms. He came to us from the Waimarino Forest, 10 kms west of Raetihi and will be released into the Karioi Rahui Forest. He's a bright little chick and is growing well.

Kiwi Encounter, a unique business dedicated to kiwi conservation, opens officially tomorrow at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua.

The Hon. Mark Burton, Minister of Tourism will join with community and iwi leaders celebrating the opening of a new tourist attraction dedicated to conservation of our national icon, the kiwi.

For the first time in NZ, Kiwi Encounter enables paying visitors to tour this wonderful facility and see kiwi conservation work up close and in action. .

"We are delighted that the public can now share in the experience of saving our national icon. If we are working to protect and increase kiwi in New Zealand for future generations, then the public need to be informed and involved with that process", said Mark Wypych, General Manager of Rainbow Springs Limited.

Kiwi conservation at Rainbow Springs commenced in 1995. Its track record of Kiwi conservation has been impressive. 75% of all eggs hatched, raised and released from Rainbow Springs survive over one year, compared to less than 5% of young chicks hatched in the wild. The scientific achievements in kiwi incubation and nurturing by staff at Rainbow Springs is a success story well recognised within conservation.

However, it was the owners of Rainbow Springs & Kiwi Encounter, Shotover Jet Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation Limited, who have shown their confidence in the future strategic direction of Rainbow Springs by investing in Kiwi Encounter as an exciting new tourist attraction.

"It is a privilege to be involved in a business that is contributing to the survival of our national icon, and a bird that has such significance to Mäori", said Adrian Januszkiewicz, Chief Executive, Shotover Jet Limited.

Today they join with the tangata whenua, Ngati Whakaue, and invited guests to celebrate this success.


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