Kicking through the wrong end of an egg is a tiring entry into the world for a kiwi and could have cost a Coromandel chick its life.
Luckily the chick from Moehau, at the top of the Coromandel Peninsula, had been dropped off at Kiwi Encounter hatchery at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua, and successfully hatched with a little bit of last-minute help.
"This occasionally happens, that the chick tries to come out the wrong way. Kiwi use their strong legs to push their way out of the egg, instead of coming out head first through the blunt end of the egg, this chick tried to come out legs first out the pointy end," said assistant kiwi husbandry manager Emma Bean.
"This chick had worn itself out trying to hatch legs first so we needed to give it a helping hand at the very end of the hatch. In the wild, the dad may have been able to provide some sort of assistance, but in reality this chick may have not have made it."
The chick's dad's name is Sky, and this is his second chick. The chick weighed 357g when it hatched on March 24.
In the wild there is a 50 per cent hatch success but at Kiwi Encounter there is a 95 per cent hatch success each season, which is another reason why O.N.E. (Operation Nest Egg) can help turn kiwi population numbers around from a 2 per cent decrease to a 2 per cent increase.
Kiwi Encounter is the largest hatchery of Brown kiwi and crucial in kiwi conservation. This 2016/17 hatch season, which is drawing to a close, 124 kiwi chicks have hatched from around the North Island.
"We've got one more egg yet to hatch, and more eggs due to arrive during the week, so it's been a busy season. The last couple of years only 100 chicks have hatched each season at Rainbow Springs and we have attributed this to the long, dry summers," Ms Bean said.
"Last winter was a mild one and we've had a soggy summer, which has been great for young kiwi as invertebrates, their food source, are closer to the surface and make for easier pickings. So whilst this summer's weather may have affected some of your plans, you can be comforted by the fact that it's been great for kiwi."
Once hatched the chicks stay at Kiwi Encounter until they are a healthy ''stoat proof'' weight of 1kg.
They are then released back to their home in the wild where they have a 65 per cent survival rate, instead of just 5 per cent if they were left to hatch in a non-predator controlled environment in their natural habitat.