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Support for Kiwi Recovery Redoubled in 2003

Support for Kiwi Recovery Redoubled in 2003

Government Report Issued on Endangered Species

Bank of New Zealand has redoubled its support, in 2003, for efforts to save the kiwi.

Bank of New Zealand's restatement of its commitment to helping save the national bird follows a Government report, released yesterday, that says kiwi, and other native species, are more endangered than New Zealanders generally realise.

Bank of New Zealand is the major supporter of the Kiwi Recovery Trust, which is aimed at raising awareness of the threats to kiwi and at raising the number of adult birds in wild habitats. Yesterday, the Government's annual biodiversity strategy report said that efforts to save kiwi in the South Island were making limited headway. Efforts in the North Island have been more successful.

Last year, the efforts of the Bank of New Zealand Kiwi Recovery Trust, in partnership with the Department of Conservation, led to 300 kiwi chicks surviving and being released into the wild.

Among other things, the Trust funds Operation Nest Egg, which recovers kiwi eggs from the wild, hatches them, and then releases kiwi chicks into safe natural habitats. Operation Nest Egg is recognised as one of the most effective means of directly raising kiwi numbers in the wild.

The deputy chairperson of the Trust, Andrew Whitechurch, said today that Bank of New Zealand's funding for kiwi recovery efforts, and raising public awareness and promotion, doubled in the last year to reach almost $1 million.

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The funding is made up of donations from Bank of New Zealand customers, staff, the public, and sponsorship from Bank of New Zealand.

"Bank of New Zealand has long recognised the scale of the threat to kiwi and the urgent need for organisations to back the excellent work that the Department of Conservation is doing to save the bird," Mr Whitechurch said.

"In light of that, Bank of New Zealand has steadily increased its support in 2003 for kiwi recovery and increased funding for the Trust and for public awareness. I anticipate that general trend will continue over the future.

"Overall, the bank will continue to increase the emphasis on the kiwi recovery effort," Mr Whitechurch said, "including increasing the opportunities for public donations to be made to the trust."

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