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TSB Community Volunteer Days Helping Hatch The Next Generation Of Kiwi

TSB is partnering with the charity Kiwis for kiwi and using its community volunteer leave programme to help turn around the plight of our national bird.

Kiwi chicks that hatch in the wild only have a 5% likelihood of making it to adulthood if they’re left to fend for themselves, but when they’re taken out of the wild and away from predators like stoats and ferrets, that jumps to 85%.

TSB CEO Donna Cooper says the Bank’s employees are proud to be helping kiwi get a better start in life by taking on the role of ‘TSB kiwi Couriers’ and transporting eggs and chicks to safe incubation facilities.

“We recently introduced ‘TSB for Good’, giving every employee an annual day of paid leave to volunteer and make a difference for the good of New Zealand communities.

“We’re excited to partner with Kiwis for kiwi and on top of that, provide hundreds of volunteer hours each year for our people to carefully drive kiwi eggs and chicks from breeding pairs in the wild, to incubation facilities across the country.”

There they’ll be raised for the first few, most vulnerable, weeks of their lives before being released into a predator-free sanctuary where they’ll find mates and start breeding themselves.

“As a New Zealand bank owned by a philanthropic trust, TSB’s all about giving back, so we’re very proud of our new partnership with Kiwis for kiwi which takes our commitment to community good one step further,” says Ms Cooper.

Kiwis for kiwi executive director Michelle Impey says the success of kiwi conservation relies extensively on the work of volunteers.

“In the same way that you can’t always predict when a pregnant mum-to-be will go into labour, you don’t always know when a kiwi egg or chick might be found in the wild,” Ms Impey says.

“We really lean on our kiwi drivers to be able to drop everything when we find an egg because time is of the essence to get them out of the wild and back into the warmth and safety of an incubator.

“TSB’s commitment to having dedicated kiwi couriers at the ready to transport these precious taonga will make a big difference to the success of our Save the kiwi strategy and overall vision: to take kiwi from endangered to everywhere.”

About TSB For Good

All TSB employees can take one day of volunteering leave a year to give back their time and skills to participate in charity work or local events to support and positively impact the communities we’re a part of. TSB people can choose to use their volunteer day to be a TSB kiwi Courier, or to partner with another organisation of their choice.

About Saving the kiwi Strategy

In 2017, Kiwis for kiwi launched a strategy to turn around that 2% decline. Saving the Kiwi is a programme that is headed by Kiwis for kiwi but works with the Department of Conservation, community kiwi conservation groups, iwi, researchers and captive rearing facilities. Teams of specialist workers and dogs find kiwi in the wild and attach transmitters to their legs, then track and monitor them to find out when they’re incubating. The teams collect the eggs and deliver them to dedicated incubation facilities to hatch, like the Crombie Lockwood Kiwi Burrow incubation, hatching and brooding facility in Wairakei which was opened in December 2019. Once the kiwi chicks have reached a certain age, they’re released into predator-free kōhanga facilities like Motutapu Island in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari in the Waikato, and privately-owned predator-free habitats. As these birds find mates and start breeding themselves, young kiwi that are hatched in the kōhanga will be released to start new populations or bolster existing ones in the wild where predator control is taking place.

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