Book raises kiwi profile
Joy Cowley hopes interest in her children's book about Pukaha Mt Bruce's first white kiwi will inspire a new generation of environmentally minded New Zealanders.
The renowned author was at Mt Bruce yesterday reading and signing copies of her book Manukura, The White Kiwi for children and adults alike.
Released in October, the non-fiction work is already in its third printing. Cowley said she had been delighted with the interest in the book.
"In its first week after its launch the first printing had sold out. A lot of those books have gone overseas to expats and tourists."
Cowley has donated her royalties from the book to Mt Bruce.
Publicity about Manukura had helped raise awareness about kiwi and the need for conservation work and predator control, she said.
Manukura attracted an increased number of visitors to Mt Bruce, she said, who while visiting the reserve would learn about other species too.
Mt Bruce manager Kathy Houkamau agreed Manukura had helped raise interest in kiwi and through that New Zealand's other native birds.
Manukura has its own Facebook page with almost 3500 likes, many of them from overseas.
"She has attracted a huge number of followers," Mrs Houkamau said. "People really connect with her."
Manukura was a strong advocate for her species, Mrs Houkamau said.
"People who possibly haven't known about kiwi are becoming interested in them."
This would, Mrs Houkamau said, hopefully lead to more support for kiwi conservation efforts either through donations or through people volunteering their time.
Mt Bruce has now had three white kiwi hatch as part of its breeding programme.