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School Kids Build Kiwi Shelter Boxes

News Release

School Kids Build Kiwi Shelter Boxes

Rotorua 16 September 2014: Howick Intermediate students nailed and hammered for a worthy cause recently building sturdy wooden kiwi shelter boxes for Rotorua’s Rainbow Springs.

The boxes, each handmade and labelled with the student’s name, were constructed as part of a school project and will be put to good use at the park as beds for the kiwi in the outdoor runs.

A group of eight of the students recently made the trip from Auckland to present the boxes to Rainbow Springs staff last week, and to see first hand how their boxes will be used.

Emma Bean, Kiwi Encounter Assistant Husbandry Manager says, “The kids were very excited to vist the park and see the kiwi up close. The boxes have been beautifully made and will be very useful, we’re grateful for the effort they’ve all made.

“Kiwi Encounter, the kiwi hatchery at Rainbow Springs, is a chartiable trust and relies on donations to keep hatching kiwi, so every donation helps.”

Adam, Lorrain, Angel, Jayden, Luke, Cameron, Jeet and Serine investigated reasons for the decline of NZ native birds and examined the impact on kiwis as part of the school project.

Serine says, “We drew out a protective shelter three dimensionally, and included measurements, a step by step process and a materials list prior to manufacture. The shelter is to your (Rainbow Springs) specification and will nurture kiwi chicks.

“Our social action was to design and create a shelter for kiwi chicks so they can increase in numbers.”

The new kiwi hatching season is in full swing at Rainbow Springs’ Kiwi Encounter, with the arrival of the first two chicks of the season in the last week.

There are more than 20 other eggs in incubation from the Maungataniwha, Tongariro, Waimarino and Project Kiwi conservancies, with more due to arrive over the next few days.

Rainbow Springs plays a crucial role in kiwi conservation and breeding, as New Zealand’s largest and most successful kiwi hatching centre nurturing kiwi eggs which are brought in from around the North Island to save them from predators. Rainbow Springs has hatched and nurtured more than 1,380 eggs since 1995 when it first became involved in the ‘Save the Kiwi’ recovery programme.

The wild kiwis hatched this season will be released back into the wild once they reach about 1kg in weight. The National Kiwi Trust aims “to maintain and where possible enhance the current abundance, distribution and genetic diversity of kiwi.”

Rainbow Springs is an icon of NZ tourism, and has been open since 1932. Spread over 22 acres of Rotorua Parkland, Rainbow Springs is a conservation and breeding haven for endangered species like the Kiwi and tuatara. Features of the award winning tourist attraction include New Zealand’s only “open to view” Kiwi hatchery, and a range of wildlife including trout, tuatara and native birds.

Media Enquiries:

Tracey Mehrtens 4pr 021-430-606

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