Taupo Locals Come Out In Force To Help Save The Kiwi
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This year’s Hukafalls Jet Locals Weekend drew record crowds and helped raised over $16,000 for the National Kiwi Trust
for kiwi recovery in the Tongariro region.
On a weekend when the sun shone and temperatures soared, 800 locals flocked to Hukafalls Jet where they enjoyed an
exhilarating jet boat ride to the base of the spectacular Huka Falls for a one off discounted price. All proceeds from
the day were donated to the National Kiwi Trust to assist with the recovery, hatch and nurturing of kiwi eggs and chicks
from the Tongariro/Ruapehu region.
The National Kiwi Trust has released over 100 kiwi back into Tongariro and this donation will help raise another 5-6
kiwi at the centre before they are released back into the wild. Marketing Manager Michelle Caldwell said Hukafalls Jet
chose the National Kiwi Trust this year to raise awareness of the plight of the kiwi in the local region and to
encourage locals to do their bit to help save New Zealand’s national icon. “The kiwi population is declining by half
every 10 years and without this vital kiwi recovery programme, we could be looking at having another extinct native
species as early as 2020,” said Michelle.
The Department of Conservation were on hand over the weekend promoting their biodiversity programme and were educating
locals about Didymo and what could be done to prevent the spread of it in our waterways. More FM supported the weekend
with great tunes to entertain the crowds and by cooking the sausage sizzle which raised another $400 for the kiwi trust.
Locals were given the opportunity to name a kiwi and win a chance to go on a kiwi release or take a behind the scenes
look at kiwi conservation in action at the National Kiwi Trust and Hukafalls Jet reports the interest was huge. “We have
over 300 suggested names including Hewi, TLC, Superman and Pepsi so now we will liaise with the kiwi husbandry staff to
select the lucky winner, who will be contacted mid next week,” said Michelle.