The first white kiwi chick to hatch in captivity is being looked after at a wildlife centre in the Wairarapa.
The chick, called Manukura, is an offspring of kiwi transferred from Hauturu/Little Barrier this year.
The name means “of chiefly status”.
Manukura, born on May 1, is being hand-reared at Pukaha Mount Bruce’s new kiwi nursery as part of a $1.4 million upgrade of the nocturnal house.
Visitors can see it being weighed daily and fed at 2pm.
It is the 13th of 14 kiwis successfully hatched at Pukaha Mount Bruce national wildlife centre this breeding season, the most successful since 2003 when kiwi were first introduced into the wild there.
Compared to this season’s 14 chicks, between 2005 and 2010 a total of 10 chicks were hatched and returned to the forest.
“As far as we know, this is the first all-white chick to be hatched in captivity,” Pukaha Mount Bruce Board chairman Bob Francis said.
Rangitane chief executive and Pukaha board member Jason Kerehi said tribal elders saw the white chick as a ‘tohu’ or sign of new beginnings.