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New Hospital Brings Care Home To Rising Kiwi Population In New Zealand

23.02.2024 12:42

Kiwi Coast to treat national icon as once endangered species thrives.

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ISTANBUL – A first of its kind facility has brought home healthcare for the rising kiwi population in New Zealand, a conservation charity leader told Anadolu on Friday.

"Earlier, it used to take one to two hours to reach the nearest facility to treat kiwi," Kiwi Coast Coordinator Ngaire Sullivan told Anadolu over the phone from New Zealand.

Kiwi Coast on Friday opened its new rehabilitation center in Kerikeri on Bay of Islands.

Sullivan said an opening ceremony was held with the native Maori tribe -- Te Whiu.

The idea for the hospital, said Sullivan, "came around two years ago when a small kiwi died… he needed help and we felt that we needed to do something."

Kiwi Coast was founded a decade ago which is engaged in wild conservation in the region.

​​​​​​​"Northland's wild kiwi population is increasing. As we have more kiwi, we can naturally expect that more will need help," said Sullivan.

According to the conservation community, "sustained pest control and improving dog control mean that Northland's kiwi population is steadily rising. In other parts of New Zealand, kiwi are still declining and threatened with extinction."

Usually, kiwi are hit by cars, attacked by roaming dogs, or suffer misadventures such as falling into troughs and swimming pools, the charity said.

Climate change also impacted kiwi, said Kiwi Coast, referring to 2019 and 2020 droughts during which kiwi suffered from dehydration and malnutrition.

"Some are injured, others suffer dehydration, so, they need a dedicated place to come in to receive treatment, regain strength and later return to their wild habitation," Sullivan said.

"That is why we opened the hospital," she added.

Sullivan said there were five species of kiwi in New Zealand.

The Northland brown kiwi species was now "off the official endangered list" but still needed people to be good with their dogs and keep non-native predators such as stoats at low levels, said Sullivan.

"Northland kiwi are thriving," she said, adding, "and that has brought in need for more healthcare which the new hospital will help with." -

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