Northland brown kiwi released last year at Marunui Conservation in the Brynderwyns are to benefit from the sale of a local chocolate treat.
Bennetts of Mangawhai, famous for their delicious chocolates, have created a 200g kiwi egg to be available for Easter and made as a regular product.
A specially designed gift box containing the egg displays a picture of the kiwi and general information about the bird and Marunui.
Chocolatier Mary Bennett has a strong community and environmental ethic and already contributes to the survival of the threatened fairy tern on the Mangawhai sandspit.
She recognises the kiwi is vulnerable and at risk and has pledged Bennetts support by donating $1 from every egg sold to the work of Marunui Conservation in its efforts to protect kiwi.
The first kiwi chicks to hatch in the Brynderwyns for nearly 50 years will be amongst the beneficiaries.
Donations received will go towards equipment for predator control to protect chicks Tahi, Toru and Rua, their parents Tahuhu, Beverley, Rangiora and Ariki and the other adult kiwi.
The local Mangawhai community has embraced these kiwi since their release, volunteering assistance in various ways, including helping to trap predators at Marunui and on their own properties.
As Mary puts it, Bennetts have now joined in these efforts “in our own small way” to help save the kiwi.
New Zealand’s most iconic bird needs all the help it can get and Catherine Hawley of Marunui Conservation says they cannot thank Mary Bennett and her team enough for their contribution to the kiwi cause.
“This is another example of the special nature of Mangawhai where its people pull together to assist and protect things that matter to them. Helping these Brynderwyns kiwi also contributes to the survival of the species in Northland.”
Mangawhai kiwi census has just taken another big leap with the introduction last Wednesday of another five birds captured just the night before on Motuora Island.
With DNA testing being very expensive, the sex of the birds is not known until they are older but it brings the Marunui population to 23, comprising 20 released adult birds and four chicks though one was lost.
To see the chocolate egg visit bennettsofmangawhai.com/products/our-kiwi-egg.
SUPPORT: Mary Bennett gets cozy with a Marunui kiwi, who appears to be checking out the chocolate egg.