Kiwi model Rachel Hunter has put her voice behind kiwi conservation and urged the Government to "work hard" to save the national bird.

Speaking about the decision to allocate more than $11 million to kiwi conservation in this year's Budget, Hunter said the funding would likely bolster the successes seen by programmes dedicated to protecting the flightless bird across the country.

Hunter, who is patron on the Hawkes Bay-based Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust, said: "One of the things that really struck me when I became involved with the trust was the wide variety of organisations involved in nurturing and protecting kiwi through each and every stage of their lifecycle.

"A great many Kiwis from every walk of life are involved in protecting our national symbol from obliteration and its fitting that Government has chosen to help them."


Urging the Government not to lose sight of the work that's needed to reverse the decline of the national emblem, she said all groups needed to "continue to work hard" to protect the kiwi.

"Conservation in New Zealand can no longer be purely the preserve of Government agencies," Hunter said. "The job's too big, the battle's too fierce. Landowners and the private sector all have a role to play."

Earlier this week, the former model opened up about her love life, including how she hated hurting famous ex-husband Rod Stewart, who she left after nine years of marriage.

She also talked briefly about her more recent high-profile relationship with Canadian ice hockey player Jarret Stoll, who called off their wedding six weeks before the big day.

Hunter was talking to TVNZ's Sunday programme to promote her new documentary series Rachel's Tour of Beauty, in which she travels around the world looking at what beauty means in different cultures.