Vote too close on Eketahuna kiwi colour

By Emily Norman -
Eketahuna is still debating what colour the kiwi should be as part of the town upgrade. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
Eketahuna is still debating what colour the kiwi should be as part of the town upgrade. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

The colour of Eketahuna's southern entrance kiwi is still being debated in the town after a public vote was too close to call.

Forty people attended a public meeting last week in Eketahuna to discuss the colour of the kiwi, and to receive a general town upgrade update.

Community board member Di Eagle outlined the pros and cons of the two possible colours for the kiwi, white and the original brown.

"The brown kiwi is the common colour of the kiwi in our surrounding forests," she said.

"It looks more traditional and is easily recognisable with tourists."

She said that the downside of changing the colour back to brown was that it could "get lost" in its new location outside the Chorus building.

The setting the kiwi is being located to has a brown natural timber background, designed specifically for photographs.

If the kiwi was kept white, it would provide far more contrast in the new location for taking photos, she said.

"The white kiwi also links to Pukaha Mt Bruce as the unique white kiwi is a star attraction. Pukaha is a major tourist and visitor destination and is well under way with building a walk-in aviary that will no doubt increase visitor numbers," Ms Eagle said.

"We need this connection to Pukaha to encourage visitors to come and visit our real kiwi town.

"We also want our visitors to be encouraged to visit Pukaha. What is good for Pukaha is good for Eketahuna."

Tararua District councillor Tracey Collis said the voting was too close on the night to make a decision.

"It may be best to move the kiwi to the new site, giving everyone a visual of the white kiwi in its new surroundings before having to make a final decision," she said.

The date for the kiwi relocation has not yet been determined but Pukaha Mount Bruce general manager Helen Tickner has already made it known that both colour choices will be supported by the wildlife centre.

"As far as I'm concerned we celebrate any kiwi, white or brown," she said.

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