Air New Zealand helped three lucky kiwi chicks take the flight of their dreams to their brand-new home on Motuara Island yesterday.
As part of the airline’s partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC), the beautiful national bird took off from Christchurch at quarter to one, landing safely in Nelson in time for lunch.
The rowi chicks were reared at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve in Christchurch and are being transferred to Motuara Island, a predator-free island in the incredible Queen Charlotte Sound. Once there, they will spend their time snacking at the all-you-can-eat worm buffet, until they are strong enough to return to Ōkārito in South Westland for release into the wild.
Since 2012 DOC and Air New Zealand have partnered in relocating over 4,000 native animals including kākāriki, takahē and pāteke. A number of conservation dogs vital in finding and keeping our most precious wildlife safe from predators have also been transported.
Air New Zealand Head of Sustainability Meagan Schloeffel says the airline is incredibly proud to work so closely with DOC to move wildlife around the country.
“Working with DOC has allowed us to support thousands of translocations and fund a range of biodiversity projects on the Great Walks around New Zealand. We take this responsibility seriously and are so grateful to be partnered with DOC to support them in the amazing work they do.”