The colour choice for the iconic Eketahuna kiwi rests in the hands of the community, who will be asked whether they want to keep it white or restore it to its original brown colour.

The community board will put the question to Eketahuna residents at an upcoming town upgrade meeting, after a possible colour change "came through in the initial consultation quite a bit".

The date of the meeting is still to be confirmed.

Eketahuna Community Board deputy chairwoman Trudi Hull said the decision could go either way, which is why community participation was important in the process.


"A lot of people have wanted it back to brown, but a lot of others like the white because of the white kiwi at Pukaha Mount Bruce," she said. "It's pretty 50/50 around the town so we'll have to wait and see."

The kiwi was painted in 2013 taking it from its traditional brown to white to celebrate the births of three rare white kiwis at Pukaha Mount Bruce.

The new paint job was also significant in reinforcing the fact that Eketahuna is the closest town to the wildlife centre that houses the white kiwi.

General manager of Pukaha Mount Bruce Helen Tickner said she supports both colour options and is glad Eketahuna shares a close bond with kiwi.

"Eketahuna is the closest place to Pukaha. The kiwi are just down the road," she said. "As far as I'm concerned we celebrate any kiwi, white or brown."

Wairarapa Times-Age asked readers on Facebook what they thought of the possible colour change, and most were in favour of changing it back to brown.