Eight kiwi released on Northland farm

DELWYN DICKEY
Last updated 16:43 11/04/2014
Kiwi PM
BRIAN EASTWOOD/Fairfax NZ

BOY GEORGE: John Key had wanted to name one of the kiwi "John Keywee" but in the end named it after the royal baby George

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More Northland brown kiwi have been released on a farm on the edge of the Kaipara Harbour, the first private working farm where kiwi have been released and bred.

Prime Minister John Key, who attended the birds' release, intended to name one of the eight kiwi "John Keywee" but in the end opted to name it after the royal baby George. So "Boy George" will now join the other kiwi running wild on the farm.

The kiwi looked like it had gone to sleep as John Key held it.

He quipped that you tell he was a politician as he could put kiwis to sleep, and he hadn't even started to talk about economic policy yet.

Thirteen brown kiwi have already been released onto the 1300ha Mataia farm and have begun to breed. This is now the first private working farm where kiwi have been released and bred.

The farm has been cleared of pests by owners Gill and Kevin Adshead and volunteers.

The kiwi come from eggs gathered around Whangarei, and are hatched at Auckland Zoo before being transferred to 'creche' island Motuora off the Rodney coast in the Hauraki Gulf.

The birds stay on the island until they are a year old and able to fend off predators before being captured and released back into the wild.

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- Fairfax Media

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