Tamanui The Brave Kokako of Taranaki book to be launched at Puke Ariki

Linley Wellington and Rebecca Beyer with their new book Tamanui, The Brave Kokako of Taranaki.

Linley Wellington and Rebecca Beyer with their new book Tamanui, The Brave Kokako of Taranaki.

A book written by two New Plymouth authors is helping to bring back the kokako to Taranaki.

Rebecca Beyer and Linley Wellington have just released their book Tamanui, The Brave Kokako of Taranaki and will publicly launch it on Sunday November 29.

With support from Shell New Zealand, royalties from the book will go towards the Tiaki Te Mauri o Parininihi Trust.

It was set up by Ngati Tama and aims to catch predators and re-establish the native bird in the White Cliffs area.

Beyer and Wellington were asked to write the book about a year ago by Puke Ariki, supported by Shell New Zealand, the trust and Huia Publishing.

Illustrated by Andrew Burdan, the book tells the story of Tamanui, Taranaki's last kokako.

After predators ravaged the Taranaki kokako population, Tamanui was captured by the Department of Conservation in 1999 and became part of a breeding programme until he died.

Meanwhile the trust, in conjunction with Mimi School and the Department of Conservation, have ran a fierce predator control programme in his home forest. 

It's hoped Tamanui's progeny will be re-introduced to Taranaki mid-way through next year.

Wellington said their part in the tale was small. "We sort of came in at the end. It's a bigger venture by people, quite frankly, who are just ferocious and committed. They'd done a hang of a lot before we got to this spot."

Beyer said she felt privileged to tell the story. "It took a lot of work to do that because it wasn't our story to tell. We had to get it right."

The book launch will be held on Sunday, November 29 from 2pm to 3pm in Discover It! in Puke Ariki.

There'll be kokako crafts, cakes and a new interactive display in part designed by the children of Mimi School.

It was fitting to celebrate the book launch with a family event, Wellington said. "Tamanui's about family."

People can also enter a short story and drawing competition and go in to win a trip to Tiritiri Matangi Island where Tamanui's progeny are.

Copies of the book in either English or Te Reo cost $23 and can be picked up from i-SITE Museum Store, Pohutukawa Books, Poppies and Paper Plus in Stratford and Hawera.

 - Stuff

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