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Protect kiwis from your dog in Wainuiomata

Protect kiwis from your dog in Wainuiomata


The recent death of a young kiwi in the Wainuiomata Recreation Area has highlighted the importance of following the signs and keeping dogs on leads where required.

Named Otautahi, the Maori name for Christchurch where he was born just after the 1 May 2011 earthquake, the kiwi was found dead from a dog attack in late April.

Otautahi was transferred from Christchurch to Rimutaka Forest Park in 2012 and his death has dealt a blow to the re-establishment of kiwi into the Wellington region’s forests.

While kiwis were released into the Rimutaka Forest Park, they have made their way next door to Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Wainuiomata Recreation Area. To protect them, GWRC requires that people keep their dogs on a lead in the park. This ban on unleashed dogs is necessary because, while most people see kiwis as secretive animals, they frequently burrow near paths, putting them in harm’s way and making them vulnerable to dog attack. The reality is that a kiwi’s scent is irresistible to dogs, and kiwis cannot escape them.

Dogs must be kept under control at all times in our parks and on leads where park signs and brochures require. Dogs are not allowed on farmed areas of the regional parks.

For more detail, see the relevant park page on this website or contact the Park Ranger.