Clutha Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS -

A bird in the hand? Ear­lier this week I learnt that the poor old kiwi isn’t ac­tu­ally an of­fi­cial na­tional bird for New Zealand.

North­ern NZ Se­abird Trust co­founder Chris Gaskin reck­ons it’s time we of­fi­cially choose a bird that bet­ter rep­re­sents New Zealan­ders, and has bravely put for­ward - a seag­ull. Yes, a seag­ull - those scav­eng­ing, squawk­ing swoop­ers, fight­ing among them­selves over ev­ery last scrap, and sur­round­ing you when you’re try­ing to en­joy your nice, peace­ful pic­nic on the beach.

To be fair, Gaskin has se­lected a na­tive seag­ull - a Buller’s shear­wa­ter (Rako) - but I’m not en­tirely sure that it would be an ad­e­quate rep­re­sen­ta­tion of our fair coun­try and it’s peo­ple.

Lets see, the iconic kiwi: kind of fluffy, cute, noc­tur­nal, can’t fly, not seen very of­ten. The Rako: spends a lot of time at the beach or out at sea fish­ing, likes pic­nics, loves to fly, can score a free feed, heads off on her OE to the North­ern Pa­cific then comes home to breed.

Maybe he’s onto some­thing, af­ter all...

Rachel Har­ri­son RE­PORTERS: Richard Davison (03) 418 4991 or 022 425 0342, richard.davison@fair­fax­me­; Mary-Jo To­hill (03) 418 1115 or 0274 372 683, MaryJo.To­hill@fair­fax­me­ NEWS DI­REC­TOR: Ge­off Mein, ge­off.mein@fair­fax­me­, 027 200 4404. SALES MAN­AGER: Linda Far­relly, (03) 418 4992 or 027 4053786. ME­DIA SALES: Rachel Har­ri­son, (03) 418 1115 027 2106528. CLAS­SI­FIEDS: LaDonna Ry­der/Me­gan Pope, (03) 418 1115, Email:

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