Pukaha Mt Bruce Kiwi, Kaka & Kokako numbers & monitoring

Bridget Percy made this Official Information request to Eugenie Sage

The request was successful.

From: Bridget Percy

Dear Eugenie Sage,

Please answer the following questions regarding Pukaha Mt Bruce.

Kiwi Numbers & Monitoring

Official Information Act requests indicate that 148 kiwi have been brought into, or hatched at, Pukaha Mt Bruce since 2013, but there are currently only 20-30 left (10 of which are in enclosures) and only 2 female kiwi produced eggs in the Pukaha Forest this breeding season.

In 2011 Pukaha staff started removing monitoring tags from female kiwi once they reached a certain age/weight, despite knowing that mainly adult (not juvenile) kiwi had been predated in the Pukaha Forest up until that point. In 2016 the first kiwi call count was held by DOC staff and an Official Information Act request in October that year confirmed that there were only 7 monitored & 7 unmonitored kiwi left in the Pukaha Forest (despite 64 kiwi having been released between 2011 and 2016, and 47 having been released previous to 2011).

In an OIA response dated 4 April 2019 Reg Kemper (Director Operations Lower North Island and Pukaha Board member) stated 'learning how to protect kiwi in this type of habitat with financially sustainable techniques is critical for potential reintroduction or protection or remnant populations in this sort of area".

1. Why, in a project so beset by predator problems, are kiwi still being released into the Pukaha Forest and why are they still having their monitoring tags removed once they meet a target age/weight?
2. Why, when it became apparent that there were just 7 unmonitored kiwi in the forest in 2016, did DOC continue to remove tags from adult kiwi when it was so obvious they needed more monitoring, not less?
3. I understand that DOC are responsible for the welfare of kiwi as described in the Wildlife Act. Please explain how releasing so many kiwi into such a predator-prone area with such a poor record of kiwi deaths and continuing to remove their monitoring tags (and therefore any accountability for the many which have died) is compliant with the Wildlife Act.
4. An estimated $3-4 million dollars has been spent by DOC, the Pukaha Board, Horizons & Greater Wellington Regional Councils on predator control in the Pukaha Forest and in the surrounding 'buffer zone' on this project since 2013 but there are only 20-30 kiwi left from 148 bred there or introduced. Please explain how the techniques used in this project can be considered 'financially sustainable'.

Kaka Numbers & Monitoring

Media reports in October 2013 indicated that kaka numbers were booming at Pukaha. However there have been four 1080 drops over the Pukaha Forest since 2014 and regular visitors to the forest now note that there are just a handful of kaka left. According to Reg Kemper, (Director Operations, Lower North Island) these birds, like kiwi, are also no longer monitored and no formal Kaka Census is planned.

5. Why, when it is so obvious that kaka numbers have dropped are DOC still not monitoring kaka and why is no Kaka Census planned?

Kokako Numbers

A recent newspaper article indicated that there are 80 kokako at Pukaha.

6. How was this number derived and are any of these birds monitored? If not, then how can DOC be sure of this number?

Yours faithfully

Bridget Percy

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From: E Sage (MIN)
Eugenie Sage

Kia ora
On behalf of Hon Eugenie Sage, Minister of Conservation, Minister for Land
Information and Associate Minister for the Environment, many thanks for
your email.
The Minister considers all correspondence to be important and thanks you
personally for taking the time to write. While all correspondence is
received by the Minister it is not always possible to provide a personal
response to every email which is received.
If you are inviting the Minister to attend an event or a meeting, our
office will be in touch shortly.
Many thanks again for taking the time to write to Hon Eugenie Sage.
Kind regards,

Office of Hon Eugenie Sage
Minister of Conservation | Minister for Land Information | Associate
Minister for the Environment
6R Bowen House, Parliament Buildings | Private Bag 18041 | Wellington 6160
| New Zealand
E: [Eugenie Sage request email]


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From: E Sage (MIN)
Eugenie Sage


Tēnā koe Ms Percy

On behalf of Hon Eugenie Sage, I acknowledge your email of 18 May 2019 (included below) in which you submitted an Official Information Act request.

Minister Sage is considering your request in accordance with the Act, and you can expect a response by 17 June 2019.

Ngā mihi

Office of Hon Eugenie Sage
Minister of Conservation | Minister for Land Information | Associate Minister for the Environment
6R Bowen House, Parliament Buildings | Private Bag 18041 | Wellington 6160 | New Zealand
P: 04 817 8727
E: [Eugenie Sage request email]

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From: Sharon Alexander

Attachment OIA 19 E 0334 Pukaha Kiwi Bridget Percy DOC 5965044.pdf
190K Download View as HTML

Good Afternoon Ms Percy
On behalf of the Director Operations for the Lower North Island, Reg
Kemper, please find attached the Department’s response to the above
Official Information Act request.
Yours sincerely,
Sharon Alexander
PA for Reg Kemper, Director Operations, Lower North Island
Kaiâwhina - Kaihautu Matarautaki
Department of Conservation - Te Papa Atawhai
M. +64 27 722 5430 | DDI +64 6 350 6204
Lower North Island Regional Office
28 North Street, Palmerston North | Private Bag 11010, Palmerston North
Conservation leadership for our nature Tâkina te hî, tiakina te hâ, o te
ao tûroa

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