Kiwi Encounter's 88th kiwi chick for the season has hatched in Rotorua just in time for the start of Chinese New Year celebrations - and coincidentally the chick's dad's name is Bruce Lee.

Eight is a lucky number in Chinese symbolising 'wealth', 'fortune' and 'prosperity', with 88 deemed even luckier resembling double happiness.

Chinese New Year celebrations started yesterday with the New Year officially beginning on January 28 when it becomes the Year of the Rooster.

The 357g - yet unnamed kiwi chick - is from the Rotokare Scenic Reserve, east of Eltham, managed by the Taranaki Kiwi Trust, which works throughout the Taranaki region to protect the Western North Island brown kiwi.

Rainbow Springs' Kiwi Husbandry assistant manager Emma Bean said it was a relatively speedy hatch.

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"It took 4 days to complete the whole hatch process but once the chick started the active hatch part, it was out within a few minutes in front of Friday's 10am tour group! Perfect timing.

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

NEW ARRIVAL: Chinese visitors to the park (from left) Weihna Fang, Meixiang Yin and Muzi Fang, 4, and Rainbow Springs' guide Lei Qiao check out the new arrival. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
NEW ARRIVAL: Chinese visitors to the park (from left) Weihna Fang, Meixiang Yin and Muzi Fang, 4, and Rainbow Springs' guide Lei Qiao check out the new arrival. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

The chick's father Bruce Lee is aptly named as he is particularly 'kicky' and uses his big strong legs to defend himself.

Another one of his chicks hatched on New Year's Eve, December 31, and today moves out of the brooder room into an outdoor enclosure where he/she will remain until it is a stoat proof 1kg and can be released back into the wild.

The 2016/17 hatch season is in full swing with another egg due to hatch anytime, and with more than 20 more eggs in the incubator and more eggs due to head in over the next few weeks, it's shaping up to be a bumper year.

During the 2015/16 season Kiwi Encounter hatched 102 and the biggest year of hatches totalled 138.

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Rainbow Springs' involvement in kiwi conservation began in 1995 with the arrival of an orphaned egg and the Kiwi Encounter hatchery has grown over the years to become the largest kiwi hatching facility in New Zealand, successfully incubating and hatching brown kiwi eggs from around the North Island.