Up to 30 wild kiwi could be making a return to Mount Tamahunga as early as next May, the annual meeting of Matakana Community Group heard on Wednesday, November 25.
The Forest Bridge Trust’s community liaison officer Marguerite Vanderkolk said it was working closely with the local Tamahunga Trappers group, which had submitted an application to recolonise the maunga with kiwi, and a decision was due by the end of November.
If the project goes ahead, it will be boosted by an $8.5 million grant that the trust was awarded in September, as part of the Government’s $19.7 million Jobs for Nature fund being invested in kiwi conservation activities. This would mean 40 full-time employees over five years working to speed up the creation of a 54,000 hectare predator-free corridor from the Kaipara Harbour across to the East Coast, including the Mt Tamahunga kiwi translocation project.
“It’s very, very exciting, we’re absolutely thrilled to have such an extensive programme happening,” Marguerite said. “It’s filling all those gaps for us.”