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First Of All In Kiwi News, Manukura's Friend Has A Name!

First Of All In Kiwi News, Manukura's Friend Has A Name!


The name has multiple meanings which include burrow/middle /beautiful and prized or cherished. A very fitting name for a bird the Department of Conservation rangers describe as a fine young male.

Members of local iwi Ranigtane o Wairarapa, Mike and the Nannies, gave him the name which combines two highly significant places. Firstly, Hauturu is the island Turua's parents came from and secondly, the people of Tamaki-nui-a-rua from north of Pukaha - both hold a spiritual connection to the Pukaha/Tapere-nui-o-Whatonga area.

Manukura is still reserving her judgment however. She is still playing it a little cool - occasionally pecking at him and making him jump before she runs away again!


The second in our feature series on the birds of Pukaha is the kokako.

Kokako are known for their haunting duets sung at dawn.

In the wild, kokako live in small forests (or stands) of kauri, lowland podocarp, and hardwood. The last national census showed there were as few as 1300 kokako still in existence. Department of Conservation reserves like the one at Pukaha Mount Bruce play a vital role as part of a national recovery programme and also in maintaining the genetic lineage of the species.

We believe we have around 40 kokako in the forest currently. At the end of winter a census of kokako will confirm the number. The Pukaha Forest Wildlife Restoration project, including the pest control programme, helps to keep our forest safe so that the kokako and other wildlife at Pukaha can flourish.

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Kahurangi is resident in one of the aviaries, and is one of the real personalities of Pukaha. Known for 'flirting' with men she tends to prefer people to other birds. When she was younger, she was released into the wild as planned, but DOC rangers soon found her suffering. They brought her back to health in her aviary where she is much happier. Later, they introduced a male kokako to the aviary, and possibly due to their different dialects, or possibly just because he was another bird, Kahurangi suffered again, sulking in a corner of her aviary, her feathers falling out. When they took the male kokako away, she soon came back to health and happily shows off to Pukaha visitors. She is a wonderful advocate for her species.

A Maori proverb tells us that people are often compared to birds. Kokako are those who are 'fleet of foot' - "Hoki i kona, e kore e mau i a koe te kokako e Whareatua" - you can turn back, for you will never catch the crow of Whareatua.

Genesis Energy

This is what the great people at Genesis Energy said about their support of Pukaha:

Ecological biodiversity is one of the key foci of Genesis Energy's Community Investment programme and consequently we are proud to be able to lend our support to the team at Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre. The work they are carrying out in terms of forest restoration and predator control is significant and will ensure that this iconic piece of New Zealand heritage will be restored for the long term benefit of future generations.

In response we say, "Thanks Genesis Energy!". We are truly very grateful for the generous support - and we know the wildlife at Pukaha are too.


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