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Bayer renews support for native bird recovery

Media release

13 August 2004

Bayer renews support for native bird recovery centre

Whangarei’s Native Bird Recovery Centre can look forward to another three years of hatching kiwi, thanks to the renewal of a three-year $24,000 sponsorship agreement with a major international company.

Bayer New Zealand Ltd, which sponsors the centre’s Bayer Kiwi Incubation Unit and kiwi pens, initially came to the rescue of the then cash-strapped recovery centre three years ago.

Since then the centre has gone from strength to strength, hatching several kiwi and caring for about 1300 injured birds every year.

Bayer Senior Country Representative for Australia and New Zealand, Sam Howard, said he was thrilled with the success of the incubation unit and the recovery centre.

“With predation by wild cats, dogs, rats and stoats, kiwi numbers in the wild are getting lower and lower. That’s why projects such as the Bayer Kiwi Incubation Unit are essential if the species is to survive.

“At Bayer we’re not only proud to be supporting the recovery centre’s incubation unit, but also the future prospects of New Zealand’s national icon – the kiwi.”
Recovery centre manager Robert Webb said that if it was not for the support of Bayer New Zealand the centre would never be able to achieve its goals.

“When businesses such as Bayer get behind these projects it is doing something positive for the whole country.

“Kiwi numbers have plummeted in recent years, so with the Bayer incubation unit we’re doing our bit to ensure the kiwi is around for future generations.

“At the end of the day the kiwi is our national icon and deserves all the help it can get.”

Mr Webb said funds donated by Bayer would go towards a new air conditioning unit for the incubation facility and to general running costs.

“Kiwi are expensive birds to keep in captivity. We have three kiwi at the moment and between them they go through three ox hearts a week as well as plenty of corn, vitamins and medication.”

Mr Howard said Bayer has been committed to environmental protection and social responsibility around the world for more than a century.

“The native bird recovery centre’s principles are very much in line with Bayer’s sustainable development responsibilities, not only in relation to conservation, but education too.

“I’m delighted that Robert and his team also put time and energy into education. More than 6000 school children visit the centre every year and Robert is always visiting schools with Snoopy, the one-legged kiwi.

“It’s through such strong educational messages that the plight of the kiwi is brought to the attention of future generations, which hopefully will continue the battle to save the species.”
As well as funds Mr Howard said Bayer would also continue donating product to the recovery centre, such as Racumin® rat bait and bird medications from its Animal Health range of products.

Mr Webb said the recovery centre’s latest project was a new roofless aviary for “the birds who could no longer fly and become permanent residents of the facility.”

Such residents include a pair of wood pigeon, a one-legged kiwi called Sparky, kingfishers, eastern rossellas and a talking tui called Woof Woof.

Anyone who would like to make a contribution towards the Bayer Kiwi Incubation Unit or the new aviary can call the centre on 09-438 1457.

Mr Howard will formally present the Bayer sponsorship cheque to Snoopy the one legged kiwi at the recovery centre on Monday 16 August at 12.30pm.

Ends

About Bayer

Bayer is an international, research-based group with major businesses in health care, crop science and high tech materials. Employing some 115,000 people worldwide, and almost 900 in Australia/New Zealand, the Bayer Group has a portfolio of over 10,000 products and operations in nearly all countries of the globe. Worldwide operations are managed from Group headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany.

In New Zealand, Bayer aims to make a positive contribution to the community, not only by providing innovative solutions, but also through our educational partnerships. For example, Bayer supports ongoing clinical research and educational initiatives in the treatment of haemophilia. On a broader scale, we believe social commitment also extends to the environment. We support initiatives to preserve and protect New Zealand’s native flora and fauna, such as the Bayer Kiwi Incubation Unit in Whangarei, and have established a unique plant sanctuary at our East Tamaki warehouse where rare native plants are grown.

Bayer has had a presence in Australia and New Zealand for more than 75 years. For more information on Bayer visit www.bayer.co.nz

The Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre is now in its 11th year of operation. It deals with around 1300 injured birds each year, including kiwi, petrels, albatrosses, keruru (native pigeon), hawks, morepork and many other bird species. It also runs a popular education program for school children in the area and has about 6000 children visit per year. Another main component of the centre is the Bayer Kiwi Incubation Unit which has hatched more than 100 kiwi.

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