A new state of the art kiwi incubation facility is being constructed near Taupō in the hopes of significantly boosting the population of our feathery national icon.
The dedicated kiwi incubation, hatching and brooding facility, named the Crombie Lockwood Kiwi Burrow, will be constructed within the grounds of Wairakei Golf and Sanctuary, north of Taupō.
The Burrow will enable Kiwis for Kiwi to process more than 200 kiwi eggs annually once the facility becomes operational in October.
Kiwis for Kiwi is the country's national charity dedicated to protecting kiwi.
Working in partnership with the Department of Conservation we raise and distribute funds to kiwi conservation projects across New Zealand with a vision is to take kiwi from endangered to everywhere.
Kiwis for Kiwi executive director, Michelle Impey, said the facility will provide opportunities to maximise the work of Operation Nest Egg and deliver on the national strategy to turn the kiwi population's two per cent decline into a two per cent increase.
Designed by leading kiwi incubation specialist Claire Travers, the Crombie Lockwood Kiwi Burrow will incubate and hatch eggs collected from the Taranaki/Whanganui region and once the chicks can feed naturally – at around 21 days old – they will be relocated to build a founder population at Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari.
It is anticipated that in two to three years, the emphasis will shift to building an Eastern Brown kiwi founder population in other areas such as Mahia Peninsula.
It was made possible through support from insurance brokers, Crombie Lockwood.
Crombie Lockwood chief executive Carl O'Shea said he is excited to partner with an organisation working to safeguard such an iconic species.
Wairakei International Golf Course owner Gary Lane is providing a site for the Crombie Lockwood Kiwi Burrow with non-profit KiwiSaver provider Simplicity is funding the fit-out.
This will include the incubators, brooder boxes and all of the supporting equipment required from electronic scales to bowls for feeding the chicks.