More than 100 children from Auckland and Northland schools packed the Old Elephant House at Auckland Zoo this morning (Friday) to launch the New Zealand Kiwi Foundation's "Fragile Kiwi" Campaign.
Through games, a poetry competition and a giant kiwi, the children learned how endangered our icon is and that we all have an important role to play in protecting the kiwi.
Prizes sponsored by Bank of New Zealand Save the Kiwi Trust were awarded to three talented children for their poetry.
Kiwi Foundation Convener Dr Greg Blunden says that the day was a great success: "The children were really interested in hearing about how they can help the kiwi, it was a fun way to give them the tools that they can pass onto their family and friends so that they do not become the generation that loses our national icon."
Tim Lovegrove from the Auckland Regional Council gave a lively performance demonstrating how conservationists track kiwi. His presentation grabbed the children's attention and taught them about the efforts of the Council to save our beloved icon from extinction.
The children left the Zoo with one clear message for their classmates and families: when you visit your holiday home, please remember to take extra care with your cats and dogs. Don't let them roam free anywhere.
The NZ Kiwi Foundation has been running since 1999 and works closely with private landowners, local bodies, regional authorities and conservation agencies. Whilst based in Northland, it liaises closely with similar conservation groups in other areas of the country; this is the first time the foundation has held an event of this size in Auckland.
Photo top shows: Dr. Greg Blunden and Helen Sissons of the NZ Kiwi Foundation with AUT's Team Kiwi members Krystle Barnes, Sarah Hastie, Caroline Rowe, Siobhan Duffy and Courtney Webb. Photo bottom shows: Michelle Impey from Bank of NZ Save the Kiwi Trust, the winner of the kiwi poem competition - Alena Kauka from Newmarket school, Siobhan Duffy and Krystle Barnes.
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