Eat a kiwi to do your bit to save a kiwi
Indulging in chocolate and knowing you’re doing your bit to help New Zealand’s most iconic creature is a sure way to make this Easter guilt-free.
This is the second year of Whittaker’s Chocolate Kiwi, which will contribute a minimum of $80,000 to Kiwis for kiwi’s Operation Nest Egg.
This initiative raises vulnerable newborn kiwi in a safe environment until they reach a ‘‘stoat-proof’’ weight of about 1000 grams, after which they are released into predator-controlled areas.
Kiwis for kiwi executive director Michelle Impey says the average cost of getting a kiwi through its first year of life is $12,000.
Operation Nest Egg has been successful in growing kiwi numbers, with about 200 returned to the wild each year. The operation is on track to help turn the 2 per cent decline in kiwi populations each year into a 2 per cent increase, Impey says.
‘‘It really makes a difference - last year we were able to save 66 more kiwi than we would otherwise have been able to - enabling us to get closer to reaching our goals for kiwi population growth,’’ she said.
Operation Nest Egg is used to get kiwi eggs into specific sites where the chicks can then grow up and find partners without the threat from predators.
These sites will eventually reach capacity, which is when Kiwis for kiwi will move some to create new populations in the wild.
Impey says people often feel helpless, particularly when looking at other animal causes globally.
‘‘With kiwi, people actually have them in their backyards. They can be hands on and make a difference. Wellington is quite incredible with its predator-free initiative. Even though [Wellingtonians] don’t necessarily have kiwi in their backyards, they could one day.’’
Whittaker’s marketing manager Holly Whittaker says the Porirua-based company has always done one large charitable activity a year, and Kiwis for kiwi ticked all the boxes.
‘‘We’re a New Zealand family company ... we chose a kiwi Easter shape as a unique kiwi icon and that really resonates with our brand values. There was a natural fit for us to support Kiwis for kiwi and help kiwis live on in the generations to come.’’
A 10-day-old kiwi chick sits among Whittaker’s Chocolate Kiwi - funds from which will go towards kiwi-rearing initiatives.