As a keen supporter of the outdoors, Rheem is excited to partner with national charity, Kiwis for kiwi.

Kiwis for kiwi works to educate communities, protect and increase native kiwi numbers throughout the country. With the help of well-known ambassadors, such as Rachel Hunter and Sir Graham Henry, the organisation raises funds for kiwi incubation facilities, creating education programmes and its ongoing work to protect kiwi habitats.

We were surprised to learn that dogs can scare kiwi away from their nests where they do not return and thought maybe sharing this information could help well-intentioned dogs from disturbing our kiwi.

Community projects make a significant contribution to kiwi recovery and most of these community groups protect kiwi by managing predators such as stoats, ferrets and feral cats. However the most common threat to kiwi, and hardest to manage, are dogs. Studies have shown about 79% of adult kiwi killed in Northland are killed by dogs. Dogs can kill kiwi at all life stages but the killing of adult birds has the most significant impact as it removes breeding birds from the population. One dog can wipe out a local population in a very short time. If we can get greater dog control this will help save the kiwi population.

Every dog, regardless of its size, breeding or training, or whether it is a family pet or working dog, is a potential threat to kiwi.

If you own a dog where wild kiwi live:

• Ensure your property is dog escape-proof.
• When out and about, keep your dog on a lead at all times – a kiwi can be caught and killed in seconds.

If you hunt with dogs Quick kiwi facts

• Ask the Department of Conservation (DOC) if wild kiwi live where you plan to hunt.
• Report any kiwi sign you see or hear.
• Have all your hunting dogs trained to avoid kiwi.
• Ensure all hunting dogs are obedient and never roam unattended.
• Report any lost or roaming dogs to the nearest DOC Area Office as soon as possible.
• Limit hunting parties to a maximum of three dogs.
• Do not hunt at night in places where wild kiwi live.
• Do not leave dogs behind when you leave the bush.

Quick kiwi facts

• An average of 27 kiwi are killed by predators EVERY WEEK
• In proportion to its body size, the female kiwi lays a bigger egg than almost any other bird. While a full term human baby is 5% of its mother’s body weight, the kiwi egg takes up 20% of the mother’s body
• In 2019, it’s estimated there are 68,000 kiwis left, and the population is still steadily falling.
• In a safe environment, and particularly with the incubation programme being run by Kiwis for kiwi, the population will grow quickly. Rheem are proud to be supporting this work.

If you’re interested in supporting this worthwhile charity or wanting more information on kiwi avoidance training go to www.kiwisforkiwi.org