Kerikeri drivers are being urged to slow down at night after the deaths of five kiwi on one stretch of road so far this year.

The birds were all hit by cars on Redcliffs Rd and Opito Bay Rd, which link Kapiro Rd with Opito Bay on the north side of Kerikeri Inlet.

Dean Wright, co-ordinator of conservation group Kerikeri Peninsula Pest Control, said three kiwi were killed in April-May and two more in the past fortnight.

Three of the deaths — including the most recent one last week — occurred along a 50m section of Redcliffs Rd, about 100m past Kate's Riding Centre towards Opito Bay.


Wright said it was unclear why so many kiwi were killed at that point. Both sides of the road were bordered by farmland but there was bush beyond that.

It was possible they were moving between two pockets of bush, "but without a camera we're just guessing".

Wright said kiwi deaths on the 8km stretch of road were sadly common.

''It's not something that's new, we've been losing this many kiwi out here for a long time.''

He pleaded with drivers to slow down between dusk and dawn and to be extra vigilant in the Rangitane-Opito Bay area, which has one of the highest kiwi densities of any residential area in New Zealand.

''They have absolutely no road sense and because the bush is quite close to the edge off the road you don't have much time to take evasive action. It's tragic to be losing this many.''

Some of the dead kiwi were dropped off at Wright's home while others were taken directly to the Department of Conservation office on Landing Rd.

The group has put up a number of signs along Redcliffs Rd, including one which is updated with the current kiwi road toll.


Go to for more information about the Kerikeri Peninsula Pest Control group.