Kaitiakitanga Program and Network
7.1.1d Weka Reintroduction - Project Details:
The Weka was once prevalent in Whirinaki - one of our mountains is called Wekanui to indicate this. They have been absent here for almost 100 years.
The North Island weka, Gallirallus australis greyi, is a nationally endangered sub-species with approximately 6500 remaining. The cause of the decline of this once widespread bird is largely unknown, but predation by dogs, ferrets, cats and stoats, as well as disease and drought are considered to be major contributors.
The 8th April 2005 was a very historic occasion. We welcomed our Manuhiri a name (derived from Manu-bird and whiri-to plat together as one) given to visitors on the marae who have not yet been welcomed here to become a part of us. These Weka were raised on Mokoia Island, Rotorua by DOC. (Also the place where our tamariki attend taiaha training retreats)
Over 60 people attended the releasing ceremony including representatives from Ngati Whare, Whakatoea, and all the students from our School Te Kura Toitu o Te Whaiti Nui-a-Toi, the Department of Conservation Rangitaiki Area Office and Te Karere - the Maori TV Programme.
Our kaumätua Andy Kohiti led us in a moving karakia to welcome these members of our extended family who have been long absent, back to our rohe - Whirinaki.
For both our children and our elders this was a very special occasion and a big responsibility on us as kaitiaki to keep them safe. We thank those who gifted us this precious koha..
They beautiful feathers may one day again be seen to adorn our cloaks.
We took them to our predator proof enclosure in the Whirinaki Sanctuary for release.
Here we give them food and water help them to acclimatise to their new surroundings. After about 6 weeks they are gradually released into the forest allowing them to disperse and find their own territories.
The birds are fitted with transmitters, so we can keep track of them to keep them safe and to help us research how they live and breed in their new home.
Here Andy Blick, who lives in our Minginui Village and has the exciting job of looking after them, gets his radio tracking receiver out to make sure that all the transmitters are working properly.
The enclosure has a mesh barrier and an electric fence to keep predators like possums cats and stoats out. The only entrance is through a double door so that they can not sneak in (or the protected species scuttle out) when people are going through.
We have our last chance now to say goodbye and wish them well on their new adventure.
We are sure they think we humans deserve to be kept in a cage!!
One last look over the fence to say goodbye to us and spy out the new territory over the fence that will shortly be a new roaming ground.
A chance to look around the patch with those beady eyes at last.
On 29 May 2005 another group of birds arrive to join them.
These ones also find their first home in the enclosure.
Can you see them from there?
Where did that bird get to!! It's roaming free in the Whirinaki Forest
undergrowth and riverbeds at last..
Weka re-established in Whirinaki
Budget: This a DOC financed project
Nominal Project Leader:
NOTICES AND ACHIEVEMENTS:
Our gift to you - download Free Whirinaki Matariki Wall Calendar
What Andree a sustainability writer discovered about Kaitiakitanga
Papakainga Development - Matekuare Whanau Project underway
Please note that this site is under development. It is a prototype to help design its structure, content and navigation. An * in a menu is used to show a future function that is currently not yet available. We are working to establish a multimedia organisation in our community to carry out ongoing development. (Our students at Te Kura Toitu o Te Whaiti Nui-a-Toi were awarded third place in the 2003 NZ school web challenge). feedback please to temporary webmaster: