Newly hatched kiwi chick pips position 88 and doubles down on Chinese New Year good luck

By Lincoln Tan

A kiwi chick hatched at Rotorua's Rainbow Springs is number 88 for the season - considered a doubly  lucky number. Photo / Supplied
A kiwi chick hatched at Rotorua's Rainbow Springs is number 88 for the season - considered a doubly lucky number. Photo / Supplied

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New Zealand gets its own "lucky" kiwi chick - a day after the Year of the Rooster Chinese New Year festivities kicked off in Auckland yesterday.

New Zealand gets its own "lucky" kiwi chick - a day after the Year of the Rooster Chinese New Year festivities kicked off in Auckland yesterday.

This morning, the 88th kiwi chick for the season hatched at Rotorua's Kiwi Encounter.

Eight is considered a lucky number in Chinese because it sounds like the word "prosperity" and 88 is considered doubly lucky.

Coincidentally, the chick's dad's name is Bruce Lee.

Prime Minister Bill English officially launched Chinese New Year celebrations in Auckland yesterday with the New Year officially beginning on January 28 when it becomes the Year of the Rooster.

The 357g as-yet-unnamed kiwi chick is from the Rotokare Scenic Reserve, east of Eltham.

Rainbow Springs' Kiwi Husbandry Assistant Manager Emma Bean says it was a relatively speedy hatch.

"It took four days to complete the whole hatching process but once the chick started the active hatching part, it was out within a few minutes in front of Friday's 10am tour group. Perfect timing," Bean said.

"The chick was particularly vocal through the hatching process and is still chatty."

The chick's father, Bruce Lee, was named because he's particularly "kicky" and uses his big strong legs to defend himself.

Another egg is due to hatch any time, and with more than 20 more eggs in the incubator and more eggs due to head in over the next few weeks, the season is shaping up to be a bumper year.

During the 2015/16 season 102 kiwis hatched at Kiwi Encounter, and the biggest year of hatchings totalled 138.

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