This time last year Ngā Manu Nature Reserve were celebrating the news that Ātaahua and Puha, their North Island brown kiwi couple were cohabiting, now their first baby chick has hatched.
It was a long journey after being genetically screened and matched together by the Kiwi Recovery Group and Ngā Manu staff.
With love slowly blossoming, Ātaahua and Puha started breeding last year, producing four eggs, none of which were fertile.
With the kiwis still being young, the staff at Ngā Manu were not worried despite their efforts in pairing them together and moving them from the nocturnal house to an outdoor enclosure to be more comfortable.
"All the same, we had our fingers crossed when Ātaahua laid her first egg on June 13," Ngā Manu manager Matu Booth said.
"She laid her second egg about a month later on July 8 but unfortunately the shell was damaged and the egg was destroyed the night it was laid."
The first egg proved to be fertile, and after being at Ngā Manu for 50 days was transferred to Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre.
"We removed the fertile egg and transferred it to Pūkaha when the egg was about 50 days of age as there are better odds of a successful incubation and hatch under the controlled environment of an artificial incubator."
Being the couple's first successful fertile egg, the artificial incubator machine mimics natural incubation and carefully controls the temperature and humidity allowing for successful development and hatching.
"Most incubators have a turning function to mimic the parents' rolling of the egg to ensure even incubation.
"Artificially incubated eggs have the advantage of being monitored closely during the hatching period so we can intervene when something goes wrong."
Over two days last week, the chick started to break through the shell, "however it broke through the end of the egg with its feet too early and as a result of that didn't have any shell to push to continue the hatch process".
"The Pūkaha staff taped the outside of the shell back together which enabled the chick to continue pushing to hatch unassisted."
Coming into the world at last Thursday at 12.20pm, weighing just 282g, the first chick of Ātaahua and Puha is doing well.
At its five day health check the chick passed with flying colours, with Pūkaha saying it has a "Perfect little navel, walking beautifully and is in that curious cheeky stage where everything has to be sniffed.
"It's just making quiet little noises for now, but no doubt in a few days will be just as chatty as Pūkaha's other resident chick," Pūkaha said.
The next step is the chick returning to Ngā Manu when it has regained its hatching weight which should be in the next week or so.
Ngā Manu will then be able to name it but will have to wait until the gender is confirmed either by morphological measurements or DNA testing.
Ātaahua and Puha have now laid another egg, the first egg of their second clutch of the breeding season.
Matu said this time the process will stay at Ngā Manu.
"It is our hope that Puha (the male kiwi) will soon take up incubation duties of this egg and if it is fertile we hope for this egg to be incubated naturally by the parents here at Ngā Manu.
"It's important the pair experience the entire process of incubation and hatch, as they will eventually be released into the wild."
You can observe Ātaahua and Puha at Ngā Manu Kiwi Night Encounters on Friday and Saturday evenings although the chick will not be on display until it is settled.