Dog owners urged to be vigilant as local kiwi dies due to suspected dog attack

Dog owners urged to be vigilant as local kiwi dies due to suspected dog attack

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The Whakatāne Kiwi Trust is deeply saddened by the discovery of a dead kiwi, found on the field behind Ōhope Beach School last week – its injuries were consistent with a dog attack.

Whakatāne Kiwi Trust Kiwi Management Team Leader Claire Travers said the kiwi was an adult male of breeding age, which was a huge blow for the local kiwi population.

“It’s not just him we have lost but future generations of kiwi that come from him.

“It’s also really sad to think about the way this kiwi died. The harsh reality is that dog kills are not often instant, it is in a dog’s nature to violently shake the bird, causing the rib cage to fracture or break which crushes the internal organs. This then causes massive haemorrhaging where the bird drowns in its own blood. He pouri toku ngakau (my heart is sad).”

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa Chief Executive Reuben Araroa said the tribe was also heartbroken to hear about the loss.

“As stated, many times before we have an obligation as kaitiaki within the Ngāti Awa rohe to support the revitalisation of our natural habitat and species. A key component of our focus has been our relationship with the Whakatāne Kiwi Trust who work tirelessly to restore the population of Kiwi in our rohe. In recent weeks, our organisations came together to celebrate the release of two Kiwi – named Hui and Tanguru into the Mokorua Scenic Reserve.

“It’s like sending our extended whanau, out into the world, wishing them a safe and prosperous life ahead. Therefore, it’s devastating to learn about this event, so want to support the Trust’s call to action for people to do Kiwi Aversion Training with their dogs. I am sure most dog owners already empathise as animal carers themselves about our loss so we continue to support the request to those dog owners who may not be aware that these training initiatives are available.”

Nationwide, dogs pose the biggest threat to kiwi, because they can kill both young and adult kiwi, and tend to develop a taste for the bird. This can result in a single dog causing significant harm to a kiwi population.

In 1987 a single dog roamed through Waitangi Forest for six weeks and slaughtered approximately 500 kiwi. In 2021, five dead kiwi were found on a beach in Northland, all probably killed by the same dog.

Decades of work, and thousands of hours and resources every year are poured into the Whakatāne Kiwi Project. Over the decades, the efforts of volunteers and active enthusiasts have grown the local kiwi population from just eight birds in 1999, to more than 350 kiwi living in the reserves and farmland surrounding Whakatāne today.

As a community-led project, members of the Whakatāne community can be proud of this achievement, and the role that everyone has played in keeping kiwi, and other precious native wildlife, safe in the area.

Around Whakatāne and Ōhope kiwi can literally be anywhere. During the day they sleep with very little cover – underneath ferns, pampas grass, in drains or even culverts. It only takes seconds for a dog to sniff out a kiwi and inflict life-threatening injuries.

Dog owners are urged to always keep their dogs under control. To support this, the Whakatāne Kiwi Trust runs several Dog Aversion Training Sessions every year, where it only takes 10 minutes to teach a dog to keep away from kiwi and weka. Even small pet dogs can kill kiwi, so it is important that all dogs in this area are aversion trained.

The next Dog Aversion Training Session is being held on June 25th. For more info and to book your dog in see:
If you see a roaming dog, please call the District Council Animal Control as soon as possible: 07 306 0500

Ruby Red Development at Ngakauroa

Ruby Red Development at Ngakauroa

Me upoko pakaru tātau te iwi o Ngāti Awa mō te whenua te take, kai kīia tātau he iwi manawa kiore!

We, Ngāti Awa, must persevere for our land, lest our nation is said to have the heart of a rat!

A desire to ensure whenua collectively owned by Ngāti Awa, through Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa and its subsidiaries, is being used in the most effective way has prompted the development of a Ruby Red Kiwifruit orchard at a farm near Te Teko.

In 2022, following a feasibility and detailed assessment, the owners of Ngakauroa Dairy Farm agreed to convert 10 hectares into a Ruby Red Kiwifruit orchard. Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, through its Ngāti Awa Farms Limited company, owns the farm with partners Ihukatia Trust, Moerangi Kereua Ratahi Trust and Kiwinui Trust. Feasibility work was funded by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise through its Strategic Investment Fund.

The orchard comprises of two internal blocks on the farm, which have been called Te Waiwhero and Te Wai-o-Koroahu based on ancient names of nearby sites.

Tracey Hook, Chief Executive of Ngāti Awa Group Holdings Limited, which manages Ngāti Awa Farm Limited, said following a tender process Southern Cross Horticulture was selected to undertake the development.

“The industry expertise across our orchard board, and within Southern Cross Horticulture means that we are well placed to mitigate any risk.  Furthermore, this development will add value to the existing land and is expected to provide higher returns than dairy.”

In 2022, kiwifruit industry licensing body, Zespri, allowed for a maximum of 10ha bid for the orchard development and the licence was granted in April of that year.

Construction on the orchard commenced with a karakia and turning of the first sod on June 20, 2022. The first plants were established at the site on December 19, 2022, and the milestone was celebrated by hapū representatives, members of the Rūnanga board, NAGHL, kaimahi and partners.

Ms Hook said construction of the orchard was almost complete with the development of a pond that would be completed in May, 2023.