Special honour for 100th kiwi

Last updated 14:44 21/11/2012
Mike Boyle

Back home, Callie Boyle releases kiwi Adderley into a nest in the Aotuhia Conservation Area in East Taranaki near where his egg was uplifted from in February, while kiwi ranger Sid Marsh looks on.

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Adderley, the 100th juvenile kiwi released under a Taranaki Kiwi Trust programme, has a name to live up to.

He was named in honour of Nick Adderley, an English vet who came to Taranaki in 2006 and dedicated much of his time to helping save kiwi.

In March, just two days after being accepted as a New Zealand citizen and a week after kiwi Adderley's Maori blessing, Mr Adderley died of pancreatic cancer.

"A kiwi became an Adderley, an Adderley became a Kiwi," the keen conservationist's memorial said.

The 59-year old, who owned a vet practice in London for more than 20 years with his wife Lyn, came first to Hawera and then New Plymouth on a mid-life whim.

"Out of the blue, having attended a careers exhibition and seeing an opportunity to work in New Zealand, Nick suggested moving out here and I called his bluff . . . it's a decision we never regretted," his widow said.

Before coming to Taranaki, Mrs Adderley said, the couple knew nothing about kiwi other than it was New Zealand's national bird.

"We thought they were seen fairly regularly and didn't realise most people had never seen one in the wild."

Kiwi ranger Sid Marsh said Mr Adderley developed a passion for the New Zealand bush during their forays tracking kiwi and uplifting eggs. "He initially came along strictly out of curiosity and was seduced by the birds and the whole environment and kept coming back for more and more.

"He helped out considerably and was stimulating company - very knowledgeable, loved his sport and music and had a very dry sense of humour, a master of irony - he's enriched my life just by knowing him."

Trust chairperson Sue Hardwick-Smith said the release of the 100th kiwi was a milestone and an achievement to be proud of.

"If those 100 eggs had been left to hatch in the wild, only five of the juveniles were likely to have survived to adulthood," she said.

The trust continues to benefit from Mr Adderley's involvement, with friends and family both in New Zealand and Britain donating nearly $3000 in his memory.

Family friend Callie Boyle, who released kiwi Adderley on behalf of the family, said it was very fitting Mr Adderley should live on in name as a kiwi, as in the short time he lived here he had fully immersed himself in Kiwi society. "The sheer number of people at his funeral was testament to his involvement in the community," she said.

Mr Adderley was also a member of the Ars Nova choir, a Rugby World Cup volunteer, a Vets Beyond Borders volunteer neutering dogs in India, a keen golfer and avid cricket fan.

Gill Evans is a Witt Journalism Student.

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