The farewell for a well-known goose who resided in Waikanae's Waimanu Lagoons for many years has taken place with all the pomp the community could muster.

About 60 people attended the ceremony with Thomas - a blind, bisexual goose - laid to rest in an area by the lagoons.

A piper led the group to the burial site before some words by Kapiti mayor K Gurunathan, poems by Pinky Agnew and speeches by Craig Shepherd, from the Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust, and Mik Peryer, who runs bird tours around the lagoons and Waikanae estuary.

A plaque dedicated to Thomas was unveiled.


White feathered Thomas, aged about 40, who spent about three decades in the lagoon, had a male black swan called Henry as his life-long mate.

They spent about 24 years together before a female black swan called Henrietta arrived at the lagoon and paired up with Henry.

Henry and Henrietta had dozens of cygnets together over six years while Thomas, who took the new relationship gracefully, acted as uncle to the young swans.

The trio — Thomas, Henry and Henrietta — were inseparable.

Sadly Henry died in 2009, aged about 30, and Thomas went into care about five years ago at the Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust.