The release of little Pistachio the kiwi in the Western Bay of Plenty this weekend will be one of the greatest moments in the 14-year journey of the Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust.

Pistachio is the very first kiwi to be bred at Otanewainuku since the trust began operating in 2002.

Pistachio was hatched in March 2013 after the fertile egg was discovered in the Otanewainuku Forest by trust volunteers. The egg was taken to Operation Nest Egg's hatching facility.

Pistachio spent her first three years in a private kiwi creche during which time she managed to lose her transmitter and evade capture for six months. She was eventually spotted by monitoring cameras and tracked down by a team using conservation dogs.


She has now grown into a healthy 2.24kg female and is ready for her release into the bush this Sunday.

The public event will begin at the Oropi Hall and Community Centre at 1.30pm where her many well-wishers will gather to bid her well for the next chapter in her life.

Trust members, the Kiwi Team, sponsors, volunteers, school children and members of the public will be joined by Western Bay of Plenty District Council Mayor Garry Webber to see Pistachio set off into her new wild habitat.

Mr Webber said the work and dedication of the Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust inspired the council support the local kiwi conservation work.

In the past three years the council has contributed $50,000 for all bird transmitter and tracking equipment and the monitoring cameras.

It was this equipment that enabled the discovery in 2013 of Pistachio's fertile egg, on which an adult male kiwi was sitting, and her later recapture.

For the Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust this Sunday's event is an immense thrill.

Trust chairman Hans Pendergrast said today Pistachio's release was a fantastic conservation story and testament to the hard work, skill and commitment of the kiwi team and the support of sponsors.

"This Sunday is a breakthrough for Otanewainuku's history in the sense that Pistachio was our first egg to be hatched.

"This is also a great experience for our younger generation as they will remember being part of an historic occasion that celebrates the restoration of the kiwi population for the future."

The public are welcome to visit the Oropi Hall on Sunday to share the moment and learn about the work Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust does to protect and conserve kiwi.

There are already several adult kiwi in Otanewainuku, each one under the careful eye of the trust, so Pistachio will soon meet up with her extended kiwi family.

Mr Pendergrast said Pistachio's journey has involved so many people and demonstrates the dedication of those passionate about kiwi conservation.

Her story from egg to hatching can be watched on the Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust Facebook page.

This short film documents the ever patient trust members as they head into the Otanewainuku to find the egg.

Operation Nest Egg was established to help save the kiwi from extinction. The Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust began in 2002 founded by the Hans' father, Jim Pendergrast, and a small group of dedicated local conservationists.