Two more great-spotted kiwi have been released into the Nina Valley in the Lewis Pass by the Department of Conservation (DOC) thanks to the efforts of a group of students from Hurunui College.

Sisters Aloise and Ruiha Reuben were very lucky to be involved in the release. Alongside the Hurunui College students, Aloise and Ruiha had a rare opportunity to hold the kiwi just before they were released.

Representatives from Ngāi Tūāhuriri and Kaikōura Rūnanga went along with the students and DOC to bless the birds before their release.

Ngāti Kuri and DOC community relations officer, Brett Cowan led the blessing. Brett was delighted to be involved in the translocation of the kiwi, and was happy to see young people at the release.
“It gets the next generation to understand those ancient tribal philosophies of looking after the environment,” says Brett.

Gina Solomon (Ngāti Kurī) who was also involved in the release believes it is important to pass on the enthusiasm and knowledge for conservation to the next generation.

“My involvement comes through my mother, I tagged along with her to board meetings and that is how I got involved and that is how we need to try and get other rūnanga members involved,” says Gina.

The Nina Valley Restoration Group, made up of students, parents and teachers, has carried out extensive predator control work in the area for the past five years to create a safe environment for the release of great spotted kiwi. They have installed and maintained around 180 stoat traps in the valley, which also protect some of the remaining native bird species.

From left to right; Aloise and Ruiha Reuben holding a kiwi in the Nina Valley.

Gina Solomon and Brett Cowan.