The musical chairs of kiwi at Ngā Manu Nature Reserve in Waikanae is continuing as the reserve plays their part in the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) North Island Brown kiwi programme.
The reserve serves many purposes, and with it Ngā Manu works with many breed-for-release and animal recovery programmes.
These programmes seek to re-establish at risk species of birds and reptiles into the wild.
Over the last few years, Ngā Manu's kiwi population has evolved due to their involvement in the ZAA kiwi recovery programme, a programme which has 14 organisations and currently has 96 kiwi.
Last season was especially fruitful with Ātaahua and Puha having three chicks, Tirama, Muna and Bebe.
"It's been a little kiwi farm here in the last year," Ngā Manu manager Matu Booth said.
However, only one of these five kiwi are remaining at Ngā Manu.
Last week Dot and Awhina left bound for a life in the wild.
Captured in the middle of the night by ranger Dave Banks and volunteer vet Andrea Wilson, the two kiwi were taken up to Palmerston North Airport, where they were flown to Rotorua via Auckland before being helicoptered to a wild release site in Whirinaki Forest, central North Island.
"They will be in the wild and free to start their life there which also frees up the nocturnal house for us."
Tirama is being shifted into the nocturnal house and will be the display bird for the next two or three years along with Kora who will be joining her from Westshore Wildlife Reserve in Napier early next week.
"Both are young, and will go through the same process our juvenile kiwis Dot and Awhina have just done.
"This means they will share the space while they grow up, and in 18 months' time will hopefully start to show interest in each other."
The middle child, female chick Muna, went up to Wildbase Recovery in Palmerston North for treatment which became complicated.
Now recovered, she will be heading up to Auckland Zoo to live in their nocturnal house.
Bebe, also a female, is currently still at Ngā Manu and will be heading to Ōtorohanga Kiwi House, another kiwi facility similar to Ngā Manu, when they are ready.
Matu said all decisions of where to move the kiwi are made and passed on by the convener of the kiwi recovery programme.
"This is driven by the need to maintain genetic diversity to make sure those pairings are as distinct as possible.
"It's about giving the most genetic diversity to the captive population."
ZAA New Zealand partnerships and conservation manager Todd Jenkinson said Ngā Manu have played an important role in the programme.
"Our dealings with Ngā Manu have been great.
"They understand the importance of the programme and are always willing to collaborate with ZAA and other organisations.
"The primary goal of the programme is advocacy and education and Ngā Manu play a key role in this by displaying young kiwi in their nocturnal display and breeding kiwi.
"Their breeding kiwi produce chicks have grown up in nocturnal displays for advocacy and education and once these kiwi are old enough, they are either paired for breeding or released in areas with good predator control.
"Breeding pairs are also released once they have produced the next generation of kiwi for advocacy, education and breeding."
With the new breeding season under way already, Ātaahua and Puha have just laid their first egg which when candled last week came back as fertile.
"As you can see because we've been providing them with a lot of good food and their resource needs, they stay in good condition and are able to produce more eggs than they would in the wild.
"So we've had one egg so far this season, but kiwis can lay eggs up to a month apart to be considered in the same clutch so we're hopefully there might be another one there."
Not concerned about their public accommodation, Ātaahua and Puha are the stars of Ngā Manu's kiwi night encounter where the public can come and see the kiwi when they are active at night.
"These birds are on display as the kiwi night encounter pair, which shows that we are not a hindrance to their drives.
"We've seen them mating, chasing each other, courting and all those things - they are oblivious or unconcerned about being on display."
With the early nightfall, now is a good time for children to encounter the kiwi at night at the Kiwi Night Encounter.
A special discount is currently available for education groups, contact Ngā Manu to book a slot.