Auckland Zoo has welcomed its first new arrival of the season with the birth of a kiwi chick.

The zoo announced the news on Twitter with the caption: "We had a cracking start to our week with our first kiwi chick of the season hatching on Monday!"

The zoo confirmed that the newborn bird arrived on Monday weighing 294g and was in good health. However it is yet to be named.

The chick is part of the Department of Conservation's (DOC) Operations Nest Egg (O.N.E) programme, which is aiming to improve the kiwi's conservation status which is currently endangered.


A spokesperson for Auckland Zoo said, "This programme involves taking kiwi eggs from the wild and hatching them in captivity, before reintroducing the bird into its original habitat.

"O.N.E is a big success, with Auckland Zoo successfully releasing over 300 kiwi chicks to date."

The numbers of wild kiwi are dwindling by 2 per cent each year due to cats, stoats, ferrets and dogs hunting the flightless bird.