The National Kiwi Hatchery in Rotorua is celebrating the hatching of its first chick of the season - and it has been born with unique features.
After incubating for about 78 days, the 338g kiwi hatched on Monday, emerging with one white eyebrow.
Now the hatchery kaimahi (staff) are calling for help from the public to name the little taonga.
It is not yet known if it is male or female as kiwi do not have any "external features" to reveal that information, so feather DNA testing is the only way to know for sure.
The winning suggestion will receive a family pass to the hatchery. Details on the competition are on the National Kiwi Hatchery Facebook page.
The season's first chick has arrived just in time for the Ngāi Tahu Tourism-owned hatchery's reopening on Saturday. The hatchery has been closed to manuhiri
since the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.
Kiwi Hatchery manager/tumu kaitiaki kiwi Emma Bean said: "We would love people to come and visit us over the school holidays and maybe even meet this delightful first hatch of the season. While we are all holidaying in Aotearoa, make sure it's on your bucket list to see our national taonga and namesake here at the National Kiwi Hatchery."
hatchery is a leader in kiwi husbandry, egg incubation systems, hatching techniques and kiwi chick rearing. Each year it incubates and hatches more than 100 kiwi chicks - 125 last year. Only six of those chicks would have survived if they had been left in the wild.
Last season 72 per cent of all brown kiwis hatched in facilities nationwide came from the hatchery.
Since 1995 the hatchery has successfully hatched 2048 kiwi chicks with an average
success rate of more than 95 per cent. It
is the only facility hatching eastern brown kiwi, which are classified as "at risk and declining" by the Department of Conservation.
hatchery will be open Thursdays to Sundays from 8.30am to 2pm. Entry fees have been discounted to
$30 per adult and $15 per child.
One hundred per cent of visitor entry fees go directly to the National Kiwi Recovery Trust to support the hatchery's conservation work. There will be five tours a day, with the last tour at 1pm. Visitors can book and find more information on
The hatchery is
at the Rainbow Springs Nature Park complex, however only the hatchery is reopening. Rainbow Springs does not yet have a reopening date.
The hatchery is also supported by Kiwis for Kiwis and the Department of Conservation's Wildlife Institution Relief Fund.